On day one of UN climate talks in Dubai, negotiators rubber-stamped plans to get the fund up and running. The arrangements had been hashed out by a transitional committee over five fraught meetings in the past year. The Cop28 president Sultan Al Jaber hailed the decision as “historic”, with a broad smile, after watching delegates burst into a round of applause.
COP27 key outcomes: progress on compensation for developing countries, but more needed on climate justice and equity – THECONVERSATION
There were high expectations for COP27, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
COP conferences broadly provide a platform for the negotiation of international climate change agreements. This was to be the first COP held in Africa since 2016. It was also framed as the implementation COP, which would lead to action.
COP27 was expected to make progress on “loss and damage”. This is financing to compensate developing countries for the harm to the climate that has been caused primarily by the developed world.
The outcome – the establishment of a new fund for loss and damage – is a relief for climate activists and developing countries.
Below we unpack this, and other key outcomes from this crucial climate change conference.
Urgency, justice and equity missing in negotiations
Outside the formal negotiations, there were clear and consistent messages about the urgency of climate action from scientists, NGOs and climate activists. They gathered at the event and in small, peaceful protests. The same urgency wasn’t seen among party negotiators.
Inside the formal negotiations, mostly wealthy country parties pushed back on immediate action in these areas:
- support for people displaced by extreme events caused by climate change
- strong and transparent governance of carbon markets
- the phasing out of all fossil fuels.
This disconnect was striking and has led to significant delays and setbacks in agreements relevant to climate justice.
Further, the decision-making process raises questions about the equity of different voices at COP, and whose reality counts. All decisions within COP are made by consensus, not a vote. Decisions can be overruled by one dissenting party.
There’s also inequality in representation of countries and the prevalence of lobby groups at COP27. Certain countries can support large teams of party delegates and technical support. Poorer countries can’t.
New fund for loss and damage
A significant achievement of COP27 was an agreement to establish a new fund for loss and damage finance.
This negotiation was very contentious, with some parties threatening to walk out at various points. The central tension was between developed and developing countries. Developed countries did all they could to avoid a new financing entity for loss and damage.
Developing countries are largely represented by the G77 and China. This is a negotiating group of 134 developing countries initially founded by 77 countries in 1964. Rich nations tried to divide the G77 and China negotiating group by arguing that China, India, and other less vulnerable countries should also have to pay for loss and damage.
It’s true that China and India are currently large emitters of greenhouse gases, but this approach shows a refusal to acknowledge the historical cumulative emissions mostly attributed to the early industrialisers.
The responsibility for cumulative emissions does vary based on which emissions are counted, how they are counted, and whether it is analysed on a per capita basis. However, North American and European regions stand out as the largest emitters.
While the agreement on a fund for loss and damage is a significant step forward, a lot of work needs to be done before it is set up. The parties agreed to set up a transitional committee to make recommendations for adoption at COP28, in November 2023.
Technical assistance to address loss and damage
An additional positive move was made with the agreement on the institutional arrangements to operationalise the Santiago Network, which was established at COP25 to help developing countries identify their technical needs and connect with providers of assistance to address them. For example, in the case of flooding, improved systems to prepare and implement early warning systems and evacuation processes.
The next step will be to identify the host for the Santiago Network Secretariat.
No decision on the governance of the Warsaw International Mechanism
The Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) was established in 2013 to provide coordination and encourage dialogue on loss and damage. Unfortunately, discussions on the governance of the WIM went nowhere.
Parties could not agree on whether it should be under the governance of COP or the Paris Agreement.
Developed countries want the mechanism to be governed under the Paris Agreement alone. Developing countries want a dual governance system.
Governance under COP would hold developed countries to account, whereas the Paris Agreement has a paragraph which excludes liability and compensation.
Carbon market governance
There were similar tensions in the discussions around the governance framework for carbon markets.
Carbon markets allow countries or entities that can reduce or absorb emissions to sell them as carbon credits to high emitters. The markets can therefore reduce emissions and increase flows of climate finance if held to high standards of integrity and transparency.
However, new language in the decision text allows for confidentiality around the details of carbon credits. This could jeopardise transparency and accounting processes and reduce the likelihood of carbon markets contributing to mitigation.
New climate finance goal
This COP was supposed to develop a new collective quantified goal on climate finance, to replace the US$100 billion annual target which has not been met. It was also supposed to develop an action plan to double adaptation finance, which has not materialised.
The new finance goal has been delayed to next year, along with a status report on the commitment to double adaptation finance by 2025.
Various parties pointed out that climate finance should not worsen the indebtedness of developing countries. For the first time, the decision document acknowledged this issue. It also encouraged reform of the way multilateral development banks support climate finance.
Phasing out fossil fuels
This COP failed to get a commitment from all parties to phase out all fossil fuels.
Instead of committing to this obvious solution to reduce emissions, parties insisted on using the wording “accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.”
“Unabated coal power” insinuates that coal (with carbon capture technology) could be continued. Specifying “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” may allow for loopholes due to the definition of “inefficient.”
While COP27 has delivered significant progress on finance for loss and damage, it remains to be seen whether this will translate into action. The lack of progress on mitigation and adaptation is a worry. In failing to deal with the central challenge of reducing fossil fuel use and reaching agreement on further reducing carbon emissions, COP27 has not addressed the key challenges of climate change.
The UN multilateral processes that govern climate change need developed countries to seriously commit to loss and damage. And treaties must be given greater enforcement capabilities. The parties will also need to find a mechanism to place common interests at the top of the agenda, above that of party interests.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) will be at COP28, which runs from 30 November to 12 December in Dubai, UAE
As a main operating entity under the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), GCF takes guidance from the Conference of Parties (COP) on its policies, programming priorities, and eligibility criteria. The GCF delegation will be observing the official negotiations, and hosting and taking part in various events.
COP28 Opens in Dubai with Calls for Accelerated Action, Higher Ambition Against the Escalating Climate Crisis - UNFCCC
UN Climate Change News, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 29 November 2023 – The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 will open tomorrow with a resounding call to accelerate collective climate action. The conference takes place in what is already known to be the hottest year ever recorded in human history and as the impacts of the climate crisis wreak unprecedented havoc on human life and livelihoods around the world.
On Saturday 28 October 2023, partners of the CBFP attending the Summit of the Three World Tropical Basins of Amazonia, Congo and Borneo-Mekong in the Republic of Congo met at the Kintele Conference Centre in Brazzaville. The meeting provided an opportunity for the partners present at the summit to discuss the implementation of the CBFP Roadmap for the next two years and to prepare for forthcoming international and regional events, with a view to strengthening synergies between the partners and building coalitions in a spirit of partnership in order to create an active dynamic between the partners and colleges of the CBFP.
The Three Basins Summit After the summit in Brazzaville, Burundi's President presents guidelines for protecting the forests of the Congo Basin
The Three Basins Summit took place in Brazzaville from 26 to 28 October 2023. At least ten Heads of State from the continent (Congo, DRCongo, Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Sao Tome and Principe) attended the event. In a press briefing held on his arrival at Melchior Ndadaye International Airport on Sunday 30 October, the President of the Republic of Burundi, His Excellency Evariste Ndayishimiye, stated that in his report presented in his capacity as Chairman of the Central African Forests Commission, COMIFAC, 208 public areas covering 800 hectares were protected and 800 million forests had been preserved. However, he stressed the need for industrialised countries to join Africa in the fight against atmospheric pollution.
Brazzaville, 30 October 2023. The official launch of the activities of the France - Gabon Co-Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) took place on Thursday 26 October 2023 in Room 6 of the Kintele Conference Centre in Congo Brazzaville. Please download the roadmap of the Co-Facilitation..
Bangui, Central African Republic, 06 November 2023 - The Executive Secretary, Hervé MAIDOU, and the Administrative and Financial Director, François DAYANG, took part in the funeral of the late Idriss AMIT, Minister of Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing, who died on 3 November 2023 in Douala, Cameroon.
To read: West African producers - generally dull international demand; Slump in Malaysia’s exports; Indonesian industry ready to intensify presence in Asian markets; Peeler logs now more readily available in Northern India; Incentives for Peruvian companies obtaining voluntary forest certification; Japanese importers confused over new government requirement; Action required now by tropical wood suppliers to meet EUDR requirements; US wooden furniture imports at lowest since March..
We are pleased to inform you about the launch of the call for nominations for the Migrants4Climate Award (M4C), an initiative of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) in partnership with the GFMD France 2022-2023 Chair and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
High-level dialogue between COMIFAC forestry ministers and representatives of the CBFP private sector college
On Friday 27 October 2023, the High-Level Dialogue between the Forest Ministers of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) and the private sector of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) took place in Brazzaville on the sidelines of the Summit of the Three Global Tropical Basins of Amazonia, Congo and Borneo-Mekong.
The fifty-ninth session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC), the governing body of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), opened in Pattaya, Thailand, with a call from the host country for ITTO to continue promoting legal trade in tropical timber and encouraging the use of wood derived from sustainable forest management (SFM). To fulfil their mandate, ITTC member countries took some crucial decisions to navigate the challenging financial and organizational conditions that have buffeted their organization in recent years.
The opening session highlighted the role of crop diversity for food security, environmental sustainability, and resilience of food systems, including for future generations. The need to ensure close collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity was one of the key messages of the day.
The French delegation will be present during the two weeks of COP28 in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). As well as taking part in the climate negotiations, it will be running a France Pavilion throughout the international event, from 30 November to 12 December 2023. The Pavilion will provide a forum for meetings and discussions on key climate issues, and will offer a wide range of events, including themed sessions, presentations of public policies and press events.
WORLD BANK – DRC : The value of DRC's 143 million hectares a of standing forest is estimated at up to US$6.4 trillion, with an estimated annual rental value of US$383 billion
Improved management and conservation could, by 2030, increase the value of DRC's forest-based ecosystem services by US$1.76 billion/year8 over the BAU scenario, and by US$3.8 billion/year by 2050. A comparison of net present values of costs and benefits shows that for every $1 invested today in landscape and forest restoration, DRC stands to gain $15 in benefits by 2050…
David began his career in journalism in his homeland of Cameroon as a writer for The Post Newspaper, before transitioning to broadcasting. He then worked for Radio Reine, Radio Environment, and the Cameroon Radio Television Corporation, while freelancing for Reuters and RFI.
In 2023, Mongabay is officially expanding its coverage of environmental and conservation news in Africa by launching a news bureau dedicated to producing our renowned and award-winning brand of journalism in both French and English. The new bureau, Mongabay Africa, will create original reporting on issues relevant to the conservation of Africa’s wildlife and their habitats, development pressures and the activities of natural resource industries, and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and communities across the continent.
Green Climate Fund 26 October: the GCF Board approved USD 736 million for new projects and readiness strategy to accelerate climate action
The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) concluded its thirty-seventh meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia with major outcomes for climate action. During the three-day meeting, the Board approved 15 proposals totaling USD 736.4 million to fund new climate projects in developing countries. A total of USD 3.6 billion when co-financing is included.
The 14th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS) Commemoration and the 19thComprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform convened from October 30th to November 2nd, 2023, in Lusaka, Zambia. The event was structured under the theme, “Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement in the Context of CAADP Commitments for Safer and Healthier Diets.” This vital assembly sought to explore the strategic synergy between implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and fostering healthier, safer diets through the prism of CAADP commitments.
Canada – African Development Bank Climate Fund approves $36.3 million in support to climate adaptation on the continent –AFDB
The Canada–African Development Bank Climate Fund (CACF), established to support gender-affirmative climate change projects in Africa, has approved $36.3 million to two private sector operations to advance climate adaptation in the African continent.
Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security: Zambian Vice President underscores role of grey matter infrastructure development – AFDB
African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN), a platform for high-level political engagement to advance nutrition in Africa, has joined two crucial forums for advancing policy dialogue on agriculture and nutrition in Africa. ALN representatives attended the commemoration the 14th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS) and 19th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform (PP).
The Congo Basin, the world’s second-largest forest has distinct meteorological characteristics, and its ecosystem is controlled by complex interactions between many climatic phenomena that act across scales (Fig. 1). While it receives little attention compared to the Amazon Basin, due to its location, the Congo rainforest also contributes to processes responsible for interhemispheric climatic communications in Africa. At the larger scale, the basin regulates the global tropical circulation by serving as one of the world’s most convectively active regions. Therefore, the Basin offers a unique natural laboratory for climate science explorations and the implications for people and ecosystems. But, why has this green heart of Africa been neglected and what should we do about it?.
A regional retreat to revisit and revitalize the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation in DR Congo and the region – ECCAS
Durban ( South Africa), October 31 to November 01, 2023– How can we breathe new life and energy into the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region? The issue was at the heart of the Regional Retreat on the review of the impact of the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, and recommendations for revitalization efforts, held in Durban, South Africa, from October 31 to 01.November 1, 2023.
To elevate women from the micro to macro status, the African Union Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) outlines the pathways to achieve the holistic empowerment of women. The GEWE strategy complements other policy frameworks by the African Union aimed at promoting the rights of women and girls and advocates for adequately resourced gender structures within formal and non-formal institutions and bodies to ensure that women at the grassroot and executive levels, have opportunities that to allow them to reach their full potential.
19th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) - IISD
Government policymakers, mining sector leaders, and civil society will convene to focus on the many issues connected to “Sharing Mining Benefits in the Energy Transition. Setting the tone during the opening of the 19th Annual General Meeting of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Interim Co-President and Co-CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), noted that critical minerals are the backbone of the clean energy transition. She urged mining countries seeking to tap the booming demand for these minerals to take “immediate and bold action” to ensure they expand their share of benefits while doing so in an equitable and environmentally and socially responsible manner.
7 November 2023 Compliance issues were in the spotlight throughout the day, escalating into a vote: two votes were held in the afternoon to help the Standing Committee reach a decision on recommendations related to compliance in the EU and the UK.
The second Summit of the world's three tropical forest basins was held from October 26 to 28, 2023 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. It brought together leaders from the Amazon, the Congo and the Borneo-Mekong-Southeast Asia region to form a global coalition. Its aim was to implement, within the framework of the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, the first global coalition for the restoration of 350 million hectares of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) – Malabo Implementation Guidelines for National Level Design and Implementation of Bankable Agriculture and Food Systems Programmes, is a groundbreaking roadmap to revolutionise food systems across the African continent. Recognising the paramount importance of food systems in achieving human well-being, as highlighted in the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030, these guidelines provide a comprehensive roadmap for a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive food future.
October 27, 2023 (ENTEBBE, Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday wrapped-up its Blue Economy Project’s 2nd Steering Committee Meeting in Entebbe with field visits to Mahati Marine Transport Base and Kasenyi fishing landing site.
WCS and COMIFAC Commit to a New Partnership in the Congo Basin to Effectively and Equitably Conserve 30 Percent of Marine and Terrestrial Areas - WCS
BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo (Oct. 28, 2023) – The Executive Secretariat of the Central African Forest Commission (or Commission des Forêts d'Afrique Centrale - COMIFAC) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of Target 3 of Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
ATIBT is speeding up the process of revitalizing the UNIBOIS trade union to get its members more involved in the VPA FLEGT process. As part of the implementation of the Support of the Private Sector in the Republic of Congo (ASP Congo) project, and in particular the " UNIBOIS Support for change" activity, ATIBT organized a meeting on Tuesday April 24 October 2023 at the Mikael Hotel in Brazzaville, to take stock of the project's mid-term activities and assess the state of implementation of the roadmap defined and validated at the start of the project by both parties.
In a significant move towards enhanced partnerships and coordination, the United States has officially announced its intent to join the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) as an Executive Board member. The announcement was made during a side event of the Three Basins Summit attended by Prime Minister Anatole Collinet Makosso and Minister of the Environment of Congo-Brazzaville Arlette Soudan-Nonault. The Summit was held in Brazzaville from October 26-28, 2023,
CAFI is launching a call for Expressions of Interest today to all relevant implementing organisations interested in investing in private sector companies in our partner countries (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, the Gabonese Republic, the Republic of Cameroon, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic) to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the following sectors...
COMIFAC, the GIZ Regional Support Project for COMIFAC, the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) France – Gabon Facilitation, the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), the EU Funded Support Project to the Central African Forests Observatory (RIOFAC and The Sangha Tri-National Trust Fund (FTNS)hereby launch a call for proposals to host side events lasting no more than 60 minutes under the « COMIFAC – Central Africa Initiatives », at the COP28 venue from 30th November to 12th December 2023. Applications should be submitted before 31 October 2023.
In a declaration issued at the end of the Summit of the world's three great basins of the Amazon, the Congo and Borneo-Mekong on Saturday 28 October 2023 in Brazzaville, the Heads of State and Government undertook, among other things, to: to strengthen cooperation between the three basins, which are home to 80% of the world's tropical forests and two-thirds of terrestrial biodiversity; to recognise the unity of enhanced cooperation between the three basins; to recognise the sovereign management of biodiversity, forests and associated resources by the countries that make up the three basins; to pool and capitalise on the knowledge, experience, resources and achievements existing in each of the basins; and to introduce a sustainable system of remuneration for the ecosystem services provided by the three basins".
Wednesday 25 October 2023, 7pm, French Embassy, Brazzaville (By invitation only) Signing ceremony for a CBFP grant agreement to the UNDP for the organisation of the Summit of the Three Basins... Thursday 26 October 2023, 03:30PM – 04:30PM, Room 3 Kintele Conference Centre, Republic of Congo. Official launch activities of the French and Gabonese Republics Co-Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP)...