BY NJOKI KARANJA
June 20, 2023.
The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has declined the invitation to meet with the COP28 President Designate Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber in Nairobi on the grounds of his oil ties. We believe that Dr. Al Jaber’s position as the CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) poses a serious conflict of interest and undermines his credibility as the leader of the global climate negotiations.
We have previously called on Dr Al-Jaber to step down from his position as President Designate of COP28. We reiterate this call for the following reasons:
As the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), we believe he represent the interests of the fossil fuel industry, which is the main driver of the climate crisis. We find it unacceptable that you hold such a prominent role in the COP process, which is supposed to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Therefore,his involvement in the COP process raises serious questions about the integrity and legitimacy of the UNFCCC. We are concerned that he will use his position to influence the outcomes of the negotiations in favor of the oil and gas sector, and undermine the efforts of developing countries and civil society to push for more ambitious and equitable climate action.
In addition, his invitation to meet with us in Nairobi appears to be a public relations stunt to improve his image and credibility as the COP president. We do not wish to be used as a token of your engagement with civil society, while you continue to pursue policies and projects that are detrimental to the environment and human rights.
We urge Dr. Al Jaber, in good faith to step down from COP28 Presidency In this regard, we reiterate the following:
A. Accessible participation: As a minimum, call on COP28 Presidency and UNFCCC to ensure processes in COP28 and in build up to COP28 are accessible to all and promote, to the greatest extend possible participation by all, including dissenting voices. Co-create processes of participation with all parties, taking into account cost of participation and timelines for expanded and inclusive participation.
B. On Global Stock Take: While the temperature goal under Article 2 is very key, we call on UAE as the host of COP28 to drive a GST process that lays emphasis on parameters of assessment that are most important to Africa and in regard to adaptation, loss and damage, response measures and most importantly means of implementation We emphasis for a people driven, people centered GST process with scope and parameters of assessment being determined in a inclusive manner and with peoples’ voices. COP28 Presidency must provide the required stewardship for Parties to fast- track the discussions on the scope and parameters that are useful in delivering a meaningful GST
C. On mitigation Cutting on emission is not an option, but an urgent call to all developed countries and big polluters. COP28 presidency must raise demonstrable bar of ambition in cutting emissions and oil producing countries, including UAE must demonstrate leadership on this. The GST process should not a decoy for delaying action as credible evidence from IPCC is already with us and so we call upon developed countries parties to be more decisive on emission reduction, characterized by clear plans of action that are specific and time bound.
D. Global Goal on Adaptation: Adaptation is the priority for Africa and must be framed at COP28 as a broad agenda and with the Global Goal on Adaptation being framed in an all-inclusive manner taking into account clear priorities and indicators of progress on sectors like health, water and agriculture. COP28 must prevail on Parties to consider linking the adaptation goal to the temperature goal because rising temperatures has a huge implication on the adaptation needs in the continent.
COP28 must move us from the business-as-usual approach of topics and workshop to have a firm on ground implementation framework on 4-year Sharma-El- Sheik Joint work on Implementation of Climate Action on Agriculture on Food Security because agriculture for our people is a source of livelihood
E. On loss and damage: We strongly assert that all funding related to losses and damages must be delivered within UNFCCC framework for accountability, and COP28 Presidency must resist attempts by developed countries to commercialize measures to alleviate peoples’ miseries or even place them under mercy of philanthropists. That is not the architect of the Paris Agreement! Call on COP28 Presidency to sustain political pressure sufficient to secure institutional arrangements and funding mechanisms for loss and damage and inaugurate the Loss and Damage Fund this December in Dubai.
F. Climate Finance: Our priority is nested on overhauling climate finance architecture to make funding accessible to African countries and communities at the frontline of climate crisis. COP28 must provide us with the means to achieve this while addressing the growing corporatization of the means of implementation.
We are optimistic that COP28 will address the inertia among political leaders from developed countries to deliver decisive financial commitments that will unlock all streams of negotiations.
In conclusion, as a cross cutting issue, we continue to root for broad based reform processes in UNFCCC to make processes and institutional outlook fit for purpose and meet immediate response needs and resilience measures for communities at the frontline of crisis. – END –