Declaration of the African Caravans for Climate Justice ahead of COP 27

Declaration of the African Caravans for Climate Justice ahead of COP 27

56 Civil Society Organisations and Coalitions from 23 African countries have signed Declaration of the African Caravans for Climate Justice

We, community movements, civil society and youth organisations from more than 23 African countries having organised the caravans for climate justice in the period from September 26 to October 9, 2022 as a prelude to the COP27 that will take place on the African continent, 30 years after the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:

1. Referring to the 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) – “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (Part II)” which recognises
colonialism as one of the main drivers of climate change, thus giving credence to the call for climate justice for the global south. We reaffirm that addressing inequalities in access to resources, goods and services, as well as in participation in decision-making and leadership, is essential to achieving climate and gender justice ;

2. Considering that, many African communities do not have the capacity to respond or adapt to the impacts of climate change. Warming trends are already evident on the continent
(increasing heat waves, droughts, forest fires and floods) and major negative impacts are expected on agriculture, livestock, fisheries and food security across the region, as well as a knock-on effect on development, undermining progress made in the fight against poverty and inequality;

3. Certifying that the cost of inaction far outweighs the cost of action in all sectors affected by climate change, we recognise the obligation of the States responsible for global warming to assist African countries in planning responses and integrating resilience to climate change into their development plans and the need for African States to urgently implement mitigation and adaptation policies through concerted, coherent and inclusive development programs.

4. Recognising that climate change impacts resource-poor and vulnerable groups most severely, particularly women who are dependent on agriculture and local ecological resources. Their dependence on local ecological resources, coupled with existing pressures on health and well-being, and limited access to credit and technology, often prevents them from adequately adapting to the impacts of climate variability and change;

5. Noting that climate finance is largely over-reported, largely in favor of debt instruments that not only prove inadequate to the real needs of the region’s countries and their communities, but also place an additional burden on their already strained budgets and unsustainable debt levels. In addition, carbon offsets and other commodification mechanisms only serve to greenwash and offer the biggest polluters the opportunity to continue polluting to the detriment of populations and ecological balances, especially in Africa.

We ask our Heads of State and Government to:

1. To support all proposals for laws and regulations, and their application for the securing of community lands in order to collectively develop peasant agroecology, an agricultural
solution for social, food and climate justice. The peasant agroecological transition includes, in addition to securing land and natural resources, the restoration of soils and
ecoagrosystems, agroforestry, water harvesting, natural biodiversity, the valorisation of peasant knowledge and know-how, combined with training and information services, access to markets and adequate infrastructure to achieve food sovereign;

2. Support the resumption of community control of global agriculture, indigenous seed and food systems, and traditional farmers’ rights, as provided for in the International Treaty
on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture;

3. Protect watersheds such as natural forests to ensure water security for communities and the indirect benefit of reducing the workload of women and girls, and the protection of the human right to water through a thorough environmental impact assessment and social assessment with a gender perspective before approving any transboundary/inter-country water management project, including hydropower projects;

4. Increase accountability on financial flows received and provided for the benefit of communities and ensure that communities most affected by climate change and civil society organisations are part of the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) process under the Paris Agreement, in order to monitor progress on mitigation and adaptation and guide public action according to their needs and priorities;

5. Ensure equal representation and meaningful engagement of women and youth, especially girls, in their diversity, in all key climate change processes at the global level and in national delegations and policies.

We ask the stakeholders of the Paris Agreement to:

1. Hold rich countries accountable to the $100 billion target. Before COP27, rich countries must commit to their long-standing pledge to provide and mobilise $100 billion per year from 2020 to 2025. This includes a commitment to increase public financing and an explanation of how they will make up for accumulated shortfalls over the period 2020-2025 before reaching the $100 billion level;

2. Revise Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, whose approaches contribute to reinforcing the commodification of natural resources, including land, to the detriment of communities; 

3. To ensure a scientific approach and the realisation of relevant studies on the damage and harm suffered by African communities related to climate change, and to create a youth advisory committee on loss and damage;

4. Establish an interim financial window to finance urgent loss and damage under the Green Climate Fund, and later a loss and damage financing mechanism, the modalities and operating rules of which will be defined by an advisory group of financial experts;
5. Define the new climate finance target for the post-2025 period based on the needs of communities in Africa, with a limited number of sub-targets for public financing of adaptation and for public financing of loss and damage.

Commit wealthier states and polluters responsible for global warming to:

1. Increase adaptation financing by prioritising grants over loans to enable already heavily indebted low-income countries facing unsustainable debt to support the social safety net measures so important to increasing community resilience to climate shocks, particularly for women;

2. Provide a quantified roadmap on how they plan to achieve the goal of doubling adaptation funding by 2025 to which they committed at COP26, in order to achieve a balance between mitigation and adaptation;

3. Create a sovereign debt relief mechanism as a means to restructure or cancel debts in an equitable manner with all creditors as a means to achieve climate justice;

4. Establish a loss and damage financing mechanism to address the devastating climate impacts suffered by climate-vulnerable countries and poor communities. Rich countries must agree to fund this mechanism at COP27;

5. Immediately halt all new investments in fossil fuels and nuclear  and urgent phase-out/transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to one based on truly sustainable and gender-sensitive use of renewable energy.

Urge multilateral donors to :

1. Recognise the inadequacy of current arrangements and move to more grant-based adaptation financing, given the alarming trend of debt for African countries and the increased need for adaptation financing;

2. Multilateral donors such as the World Bank, IFAD or the Green Climate Fund (which is one of the donors with the highest percentage of non-concessional lending) should move towards a significantly higher proportion of grant-based adaptation financing  LDCs and the most climate-vulnerable countries. In  financing should never be considered as part of reported climate finance;

3. Strengthen the capacity of African governments at all levels, cities and communities to plan for, manage climate change risks, and build collective and local economic, energy, environmental and social resilience.

Declaration here