“One Africa, One Voice, One Position”
PAN AFRICAN CLIMATE JUSTICE ALLIANCE
“One Africa, One Voice, One Position”
Declaration by Members of African Civil Society
Accra, Ghana, 17 March 2010
We, member organizations of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, a network of 210 civil
society organizations, meeting in Accra, Ghana, during 13th to 17th March 2010 renew our
demands for climate justice and for a solution to climate change that keeps Africa safe and
secures our development.
We recognize that impacts across Africa, and in other regions of the world, indicate that
climate change is proceeding faster than predicted by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
The Earth’s climate is “tipping” off balance and we must act swiftly to stabilize it within a
range fit for human life and human wellbeing.
We recognize that the Earth’s atmosphere is a global commons that must be shared equally
among all people. We reject attempts by the developed countries to “grab” this resource as a
form of climate colonialism. We call on them to share the atmospheric space fairly with Africa
and to compensate us for their excessive historical use and continuing excessive
We note that Africa is the most vulnerable continent. We are on the front-line. We know from
the IPCC that warming in Africa will be “larger than the global, annual mean warming
throughout the continent and in all seasons”.i We therefore accept no compromise that will
threaten our future. Africa must not sign a suicide pact.
We as Africans accept no warming to our continent. We demand no increase in temperatures.
Those who cause climate change through their excessive historical and continuing emissions
bear the moral and legal responsibilities for its effects on Africa. We call for an outcome to
climate negotiations that is based on science, on economics and on the provisions and
principles of the UN Climate Convention. We call for an outcome to the climate negotiations
that is fair and protects Africa’s future.
Support for the science-based African position
We therefore reiterate our support for the science-based African position agreed by Ministers
and senior officials and submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat by Algeria on 12 December 2009
on behalf of the African Group at Copenhagen. The outcome of a climate negotiation must
not be mere “horse trading”.
To keep Africa safe the outcome of climate negotiations must “add up” to ensure a package
of: 1) sufficient global emission reductions; 2) a fair sharing of emission reductions by
developed and developing countries; 3) adequate finance and technology transfers; and 4)
compensation for the impacts of climate change on those communities that suffer its adverse
We therefore call on all African institutions involved in the climate negotiations — including
CAHOSOCC and the African Union — to adopt the African science-based position, as a
minimum, as the only viable solution for Africa. Anything less threatens our survival.
Strengthening the science-based African Position
We note with concern the rising impacts of climate change in Africa and across the world. The
IPCC has found “In all four regions an in all seasons, the median temperature increase [in
Africa] lies … roughly 1.5 times the global mean response.”ii Climate change and its impacts
are proceeding faster than foreseen by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, and the Earth’s
climate risks passing “tipping points” to dangerous and irreversible impacts.
We accept no climate change; but we know that some climate change is now inevitable. We
therefore call for the African science-based position to be updated and strengthened to
include a global goal of keeping temperature increases below 1°C and carbon dioxide
concentrations below 300ppm. Even this risks temperature increases of over 1.5°C in parts of
Africa. We reiterate that the only known safe levels of concentrations are pre-industrial levels,
which existed for thousands of years during which human civilization evolved.
Drawing on, and strengthening the science-based African Position in light of rapidly evolving
scientific conditions, we call for an effort to:
Mitigation: “Implement the Kyoto Protocol”
We call for the Kyoto Protocol to continue post-2012 as legally mandated, with Annex I
countries to reduce their emissions by at least 50% from 1990 levels by 2017. We call on the
United States to join the Kyoto Protocol or at least to make comparable efforts under the
To curb the growth of their emissions debts, we call on developed countries to go beyond
carbon-neutral well before 2050. They must remove their historical emissions. We oppose any
effort to appropriate Africa’s fair share of atmospheric space or to create a global carbon
market to buy a further share.
Adaptation: “Compensate for climate harms”
We note that developed countries’ historical emissions are the single main contributor to
climate change and its adverse effects, including the massive violations of human rights
caused by climate change and its development implications for Africa. The costs of climate
change have been grossly underestimated. Damage from disasters, droughts, floods and
other adverse effects in Africa are rising rapidly.
To limit and repay their adaptation debts, and correct climate change induced human rights
violations, we call on developed countries to compensate Africa for the full costs of: 1)
avoiding harms (where possible); 2) actual harm and damage; and 3) lost opportunities for our
development. We demand that actions to address climate change must ensure the free, prior
and informed consent of indigenous peoples and be gender responsive in all processes.
We support the Africa Group’s position that, at a minimum, initial financing of 2.5% of Annex I
GNP is required to fund full costs of adapting to climate change. A new institutional
framework on adaptation is required under the UNFCCC including: 1) an Adaptation Executive
Body under the COP; 2) a new Adaptation Fund (under financial mechanism); 3) a
comprehensive Adaptation Programme; 4) an International Mechanism to address risk and
compensation; and 5) a compliance mechanism.
In this context, we call on industrialized countries to repay their adaptation debts. We oppose
any effort to establish adaptation as an obligation not a right, or to use adaptation as a means
to divide or differentiate between developing countries. We oppose the attempt to create a
group of so-called “most vulnerable countries” as part of the North’s divide and conquer
Finance: “Polluter not poor pays”
We note that developed countries have prospered through “cheap carbon” growth while
externalizing their costs to the atmosphere and to developing countries. The costs are now
born by Africa, as we mitigate and adapt to a crisis we played little role in causing.
To avert a climate catastrophe and enable mitigation, adaptation and technology transfer to
developing countries, we call on developed countries to, at a minimum, honor the African
Group’s demand for:
· $150 billion immediately in “special drawing rights”
· $400 billion in fast-track financing
· 5% of Annex I GNP in longer-term financing
We call for Multilateral Climate Fund to be established including: 1) an Executive Board; 2)
funds/windows for adaptation, mitigation, technology and capacity building; and 3) a trustee,
technical panels, and monitoring/verification mechanism.
We also demand an effective compliance mechanism. We oppose efforts to shift the burden
of financing away from developed countries and towards developing countries or the market.
We oppose the creation of “unsupported” or “market” NAMAs (actions) as inconsistent with
Technology transfer: “Transfer the tools to adapt and develop”
We note that curbing global emissions within a decade requires technology transfers on a
scale never before considered. We need a Marshall Plan for Africa and for the Earth.
Developed countries must remove intellectual property rights and pay “full incremental
costs” of technology transfer to prevent further human rights violations in Africa, protect
developing countries and to peak and decline global emissions.
We support developing countries’ demand for a Technology Mechanism including: 1) a
Technology Executive Board; 2) Technical Panels; 3) A Technology Action Plan; and 4) a
Multilateral Climate Technology Fund (under financial mechanism).
We note that, as stated in the Convention, the extent of developing countries’
implementation depends on developed countries’ implementation of financing and
technology. We oppose efforts to sell rather than transfer technologies, or to strengthen
rather than relax Intellectual property rights.
Capacity building: “Building our institutions and skills”
We call for efforts to enhance the human and institutional capacities of Africa. We call for
mechanism to be established under the UNFCCC to enhance institutional and human
resources. We call for enhanced funding and institutional resources to be made available to
African institutions. We also support calls by Bolivia for a capacity building program for the
developed countries, to enable them to reduce their consumption and change their excessive
The Copenhagen Accord: “Rejecting undemocratic processes and unjust outcomes”
We reject the Copenhagen Accord as the result of an exclusive, un-transparent and
undemocratic process involving around 28 countries selected by the Danish government. It is
an illegitimate document that was not mandated and ignores years of work in the legitimate
UN processes. It was not adopted by the UN, is non-binding and has no legal standing or
effect. African countries should not lend their legitimacy to a document that threatens
upwards of 3.9°C of warming (or around 6°C warming in Africa). To this end, through a
separate document and campaign we will petition our governments to reject or disassociate
themselves from the Accord.
An equitable approach: “Fair not false solutions”
We oppose the use of false and unfair measures by developed countries. They must not shift
burdens to developing countries, or seek to “divide and rule” the countries of the South, or to
penalize developing countries through trade or other measures. We oppose the use and
expansion of global carbon markets or sectoral trading mechanisms, by which the developed
countries will take more of Africa’s rightful share of atmospheric space. We demand an end to
“offsets” which would allow industrialized countries to continue polluting, while shifting the
burden of mitigating climate change even further to developing countries.
Ensuring accountability: “No to the World Bank and financial institutions”
We oppose efforts to extend the role of the World Bank, Global Environment Facility and
other global financial institutions. In light of their donor-driven governance and
conditionalities, and the persistent concerns of developing countries, these should be “rolled
over” into new and accountable multilateral institutions under the authority of the
Conference of Parties. These institutions, under the United Nations and African governments,
must be transparent, accountable and accessible.
The way forward: “Multilateralism, rule of law, and democracy”
We believe the way forward is to honor the existing two tracks of negotiations under the
multilateral process of the UNFCCC. Climate change affects all countries; all countries must be
involved in its solution, and thereby protect the human rights of their people and the right to
development through international cooperation. Significant progress was made before and
during Copenhagen. This progress was undermined by the untransparent effort to force
through the unjust Copenhagen Accord. We call on all countries to return to the negotiating
process under the United Nations. We oppose efforts by the United States and other
Northern governments to impose the Copenhagen Accord as the basis of negotiations.
Negotiations must rather proceed on the documents agreed by all Parties under the two
formal working groups.
Solidarity: “We stand with peoples movements and civil society everywhere”
We express our solidarity with peoples movements and civil society everywhere as part of a
common struggle to stabilize the Earth’s climate, ensure the repayment of ecological and
climate debts and ensure a future for our families and for all of life on Earth. We call for a
massive mobilization of people everywhere to demand our leaders to lead on climate change,
and to remove them if they do not. Time is short. The stakes are high. We must act together,
i Contribution of Working Group I to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Chapter 11, Regional Climate Projections, at page 866-867