The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) has reaffirmed its commitment to upholding the principles of climate justice and fairness.
This pledge, it said, is in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR–RC) principle.
The CBDR–RC principle recognises the varying capabilities and responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change.
The AGN chair, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima made this commitment during a climate awareness event organized by the Catholic Church, which was based on Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si. Shitima emphasised the alignment between Pope Francis’ message “on care for our common home” and the principle of fairness articulated in the UNFCCC convention, which the African group consistently upholds during negotiations.
Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical, highlights the need for responsible environmental stewardship, criticizes consumerism and unsustainable development, and calls on people worldwide to take swift and unified global action to address environmental challenges, including climate change.
Shitima addressed a diverse audience comprising Catholic clergy, youths, and private sector representatives in Lusaka. He stressed the urgency of Pope Francis’ message and its alignment with the challenges faced by society and the global community. He also acknowledged the pivotal role climate change plays in the world’s most pressing issues.
Shitima further underlined that as Africa prepares to lead at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates later in the year, the group will draw inspiration from Pope Francis’ words. Their goal is to accelerate fair energy transitions, particularly for the over 600 million Africans currently lacking access to any form of energy. Additionally, the AGN is dedicated to ensuring that the fund designed to support poor countries impacted by extreme weather events becomes operational, with simplified and streamlined access procedures.
These priorities at COP28 align with Africa’s commitment to fostering climate justice and mitigating the impacts of climate change on the continent.