General News of Thu, 9 Nov 20170

Civil Society Activists ask COP23 to sustain climate funding

Civil Society Groups attending the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP23) on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, are urging countries to look more at the sustainability of the global climate fund before 2030 and beyond.

This, they said, would help finance and sustain climate mitigation and adaptation actions over the period.

The target of the Global Climate Fund is 100 million dollars; but the Civil society group is indicating that the fund had not been realised since it was last agreed upon, and that the countries, especially the developed countries, were not paying serious attention to contributing and sustaining it.

Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth in Nigeria, who with other activists addressed a press conference in Bonn, as part of a side-event at the on-going COP23, said countries were just not interested in sustaining the climate fund and also ensuring that they funded activities before pre 2020 and after 2030.

“We are talking about sustainability, commitment and principles- that we will work on pre-2020,” he said.

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“Some countries said they have already fulfilled their pre 2020 agreement by releasing money. We said no, it’s not enough, what about now. Things are happening.

“The issue is that the rich countries are reneging on their commitments to work on pre 2020. And that is, interventions on reducing climate impacts by providing the means of implementation and the finance necessary for the Paris Agreement…,” Mr Ojo told the GNA in an interview after addressing the meeting.

“There is an attempt to reduce the importance of adaptation in developing countries. So the finance that is required for pre2020 actions for climate change mitigation is missing.

“So that is why we are calling attention that this must be an agenda in this COP23 meeting in order to raise the ambition for carbon emission target reduction and also ambition for adaptation,” he said.

Ms Lidy Macpil, a representative of the Asian Peoples Movement of Death and Development (APMDD) said preparing for and after 2020 was very critical.

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She accused the rich countries of getting away with low pledges and commitment, saying the mainstream media and public discourse had not challenged these countries well enough.

“For instance, in the case of the United States, the main narrative that the US Government, under Donald Trump, is saying the Paris Agreement is not fair to the US, this is because they are trying to project this message that it asking the US to do more than it should.

“This is such a pack of lies that has to be challenged over and over again because actually, the US pledge under the Paris Agreement, is way in short of its actual fair shares.

“The US is also one of the leading countries that have not given any clear commitment to climate finance, which by the way is not to help countries like the Philippines.

“It is to help countries like the US deliver its share of mitigation actions because now, unfortunately, rich countries owe so much in terms of historical emissions, so that for their fair shares, we have to take on some of those mitigation actions.

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Mr Mohammed Addow of the Kenyan-based Christian Aid said: “If the developed countries drag their feet, it would undermine trust in climate negotiations”.

Fiji is hosting the COP23 as the Chair of the event, while the German Government is supporting the hosting.

Delegates from around the globe are hoping to ensure greater momentum for the Paris Climate Change Agreement and to raise the level of ambition needed to address global warming at the two-week conference, which opened on November 6.

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