Agba calls on EU to help mitigate effects of climate change in African, Caribbean and Pacific states

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The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) has called for the European Union’s (EU’s) support to urgently capitalise the dedicated financing for loss and damage as result of climate change in member states.

The body also called on the EU to help finalise governance arrangement and a robust Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism, as well as ensure the fund is easily accessible to all OACPS member states that are vulnerable and at the frontline of the impacts of climate change.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, made the call on behalf of OACPS, while sharing report on key outcomes of COP 27, on Tuesday, at the 45th session of the OACPS-EU Council of Ministers, in Brussels, Belgium.

He noted that the support from the EU was critical to implementing the COP 27 decision, which called on stakeholders and the multilateral development banks and international financial institutions to urgently reform their processes and policies and facilitate ease of access to grants and non-debt instruments, considering the unique vulnerability of the 79 OACPS members states to climate change.

According to Agba, “on this priority, we welcome the breakthrough agreement to establish a dedicated ‘Fund for loss and Damage’ and thank the European Union for its support to this outcome.

“We also welcome the inclusion of a dedicated agenda item on ‘Funding arrangements for Loss and Damage’ at COP 27 and, in future COPs.

“Secondly, while we welcome the Loss and Damage Fund, we must also underline the urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold alive and for developed countries parties to deliver on their annual commitment to provide USD 100 billion remain high priorities.

“So far, only USD 82 billion has been mobilized. This is unacceptable, and we cannot go to COP 28 without the USD 100b being fully met. This is crucial to OACPS as our 79 Members States requires scale-up grant-base finance that is easy to access

“Thirdly, the work on the Global Goal on Adaptation and Doubling at Adaptation Finance are important priorities for the OACPS. Therefore, we welcome the launching of the Sharm EI-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda with its 30 outcomes to enhance the resilience of 4 billion people in the most vulnerable areas by 2030 of which 1.2 billon are OACPS citizens.

“We also note with appreciation the tasking of the Standing Committee on Finance to prepare a report on the ‘doubling of adaptation finance by 2025’ for consideration at COP 28, and recent financial pledges to the Adaptation Fund and Global Environment Facility LDC Fund.”

Agba, speaking on the outcomes of COP 27, just concluded in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Saturday, 19 November, 2022, which adopted the “Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan,” said the meeting was coined as the “African COP” and regarded as an “Implementation COP” for the Paris Agreement.

He noted the OACPS and its members went to Sharm El-Sheikh with a crucial goal in mind – to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, adding that to the OACPS, 1.5 was not just a number, “it is a market for the very survival of member states.”

While sharing some perspectives on the key outcomes from COP 27, he recalled that in preparation for COP 27, the OACPS facilitated dialogue among members, regional agencies and negotiating groups, and key partners (including the EU, UK and Egypt) to agree on OACPS key priorities for COP 27 and finalise OACPS Issues Paper.

He said this highlighted common priorities of OACPS member states for COP 27, including on Adaption, Mitigation, Loss and Damage, Climate Finance, Capacity Building and Technology Transfer.

These efforts were further augmented by the Resolution on the Global Challenges of Climate Change Cooperation for Adaptation and Mitigation in the Wake of COP 27, adopted in November by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Maputo, Mozambique, he disclosed.

He said it was morally binding and obligation to member states now and future generations of the OACPS to harp on limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, saying this must be the focal point as member states looked towards COP 28 to be held in the United Arab Emirates in November 2023.

“As we turn our focus towards COP 28 to be held in the United Arab Emirates in November 2023, let me remind us all that limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius is a moral obligation to our people now and our future generations of the OACPS and EU.

“We must recommit to further strengthening our joint-cooperation and strategic engagement in International multilateral forums and processes such as the UNFCCC COP to influence stronger outcomes.

“Importantly, OACPS members will certainly require support to effectively prepare and participate at COP 28,” he submitted.

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