President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke at a meeting of the African Union Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change on Sunday where he expressed that the continent is experiencing the worst impacts of phenomena associated with global warming such as droughts, floods and cyclones.
“Climate change impacts are costing African economies between 3 and 5 per cent of their GDP’s. Despite not being responsible for causing climate change, it is Africans who are bearing both the brunt and the cost,” Ramaphosa said.
He went on state that Africa spoke with one voice at COP26 in Glasgow late last year.
“The complex Glasgow Climate Pact strives to strike the right balance by accommodating the differing national circumstances and capacities amongst the nearly two hundred Parties. The aim is that all are enabled and empowered to contribute their fair share as well as to enhance their climate ambition.
“Glasgow further sends a clear signal that the world will be safer under the 1.5 degree temperature rise scenario, compared to 2 degrees or more,” Ramaphosa adds.
He further mentioned that developed economy countries have agreed to support the implementation of Just Transitions that promote sustainable development, poverty eradication, and the creation of decent work and quality jobs, expressing that more work needs to be done for Africa and the rest of the world to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
Ramaphosa outlined the concern that the necessary financial flows to enable developing economy countries in particular to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change remain vastly inadequate, and said that Africa’s Special Needs and Circumstances need to be recognised globally “because of our natural resource based economies, and owing to high levels of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment.”
He said that a “one-size-fits-all approach” to complex issues such as a transition from fossil fuels that disregards the realties on the ground in Africa will simply not work, and is neither just nor equitable.
“To achieve the expected results for Africa at COP27, it is imperative that we develop a strong and well-coordinated Common African Position, and that we formulate a set of robust key messages that encapsulate Africa’s aspirations,” Ramaphosa adds.