Uhuru is the new chair of CAHOSCC: What it means

15 February, 2022

Posted by: Juliah Kibochi

Uhuru is the new chair of CAHOSCC: What it means

Category : Press Releases | tags: Climate Crisis

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has taken over as the chairperson of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change.

His appointment is expected to bring significant milestones in the battle to tackle climate change at this decisive moment in the battle to tackle the climate crisis ahead of COP27 in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh.

With the world’s attention now on Africa as Africa is set to host the most significant COP. It is a great opportunity for Africa, with President Kenyatta as the official spokesperson for the continent, to help Africa realize its long neglected priorities that have been sidelined in previous COPs including last year’s Summit in Glasgow. We can play our cards to ensure that COP delivers for Africa and the world. The President has a duty to cease this moment and lay the basis for a successful COP27.

This is an opportunity for President to shape COP27 agenda particularly around adaptation, loss and damage and finance.

COP26 fell short of Africa and developing world’s expectations and was a mitigation bias -reflecting priorities of the global North, who were overseeing the talks. There was no commensurate advance on climate finance, adaptation and loss and damage support which are crucial means to enable Africa and developing nations to respond to the climate emergency. This is an opportunity to rebalance COP 27 agenda with concrete and actionable steps to addressing the priorities and needs of Africa and vulnerables. We must correct failures of COP 26 in Sharm El-Sheikh and make the international regime, one that it fit for all countries, North and South, Rich and Poor.  Africa and CAHOSCC, in particular has play a crucial role in shaping the outcome and creating space for the correct priorities.

The 54 African countries speak with one voice in multilateral process through effective continental governance arrangements – i.e Africa Group of Negotiators(technical), Africa Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN-Ministerial) and CAHOSCC (heads of states level). Despite the efforts, we are yet to realize our priorities and sometimes we get shortchanged by developed country partners. This role creates momentum towards helping to realize Africa’s expectations at COP27. 

Key priorities of Africa include:

  1. Just energy transition - COP27 frames the mitigation /phase down of fossil fuels discussions in a way that matters for Africa, which is about a renewable energy transition that can meaningfully meet the ever-growing energy demands of the continent. The COP needs to secure meaningful commitments and investments into an African-led, decentralised, and democratised renewable energy economy.
  2.  Scaled up adaptation –COP27 must be seen as an adaptation COP by delivering on  clear Global Goal on Adaptation, at least 50% of climate finance committed to adaptation efforts, and the African Adaptation Initiative supported, and financed.
  3. Scaled up climate finance - COP27 should at minimum double the $100 billion commitment and begin concrete discussions toward the trillions of dollars that reflect the true needs to keep global warming below 1.5°C.
  4. Meaningfully address loss and damage associated with climate change through effectively operationalising a Loss and Damage Facility and committing to dedicated shares of climate finance to loss and damage and provide dedicated support to affected countries attempting to access loss and damage financing.
  5. Recognise Africa’s special circumstances under the Paris Agreement and launch work programme on the same.

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