By Atayi Babs
Ahead of the writing of the Paris rulebook and preparations for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, Major Groups attending this year’s Pre-AMCEN sessions have called on African governments to take stock of the current status of implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and identify barriers that need to be addressed with a view to enhancing ambition beyond what currently exists as NDCs.
Speaking at the African civil society workshop heralding the 16th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment in Libreville, Gabon, Sam Ogallah of the Pan African Justice Alliance (PACJA) stressed the need for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue (FD2018) to specifically highlight potential opportunities where countries can increase their ambition.
“The FD2018 process, should as matter of priority recognize that collective ambition in current NDCs remains inadequate to pursue effort to limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C. It should enhance ambition and commitment from Parties to make new pledges and submit updated or new NDCs ahead of 2020 which should be sufficiently ambitious to close the emission gap, and identify what further work is needed to enable countries to enhance their ambition, especially in countries with lower capabilities” he said.
According to Ogallah, “African leaders must use the FD2018 to leverage lessons and best practices, in identifying ways to overcome barriers and opportunities to enhance the enabling environment, and engage in win-win climate and sustainable actions for Africa.”
Robert Chimambo of the Zambian Climate Change Network (ZCCN) believes that the facilitative dialogue provides “a veritable opportunity to collectively look into options on how current NDCs can be revised and new ambition generated to strengthen individual Parties’ contributions by 2020.”
Chimambo called on African ministers and negotiators to identify ways in which Parties could implement climate action in areas not covered by their NDC or surpass the ambition level outlined therein while exploring ways of fast-tracking the implementation of NDCs and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Many of the stakeholders who addressed the workshop urged African leaders, mayors, negotiators, private sectors, and other non-state actors to engage fully into the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, and lead or champion specific actions and initiatives in various sectors.
They also called for the inclusion of non-Party stakeholders who are always at the front-lines of implementation in the facilitative dialogue’s examination of barriers and opportunities for greater ambition.
According to the African Major Groups, action from non-state actors can contribute to the achievement of NDCs, and can also increase their level of ambition.
2018 Facilitative Dialogue
The Conference of the Parties (COP) at its 21st session in Paris decided to conduct a Facilitative Dialogue in conjunction with the 22nd session of the COP to assess the progress in implementing certain COP decisions.
These decisions border on identifying relevant opportunities to enhance the provision of financial resources, including for technology development and transfer, and capacity-building support, with a view to identifying ways to enhance the ambition of mitigation efforts by all Parties, including identifying relevant opportunities to enhance the provision and mobilisation of support and enabling environments.
According to the UNFCCC, the first part of the Facilitative Dialogue will offer space for an assessment of progress made, with regard to the enhancement of pre-2020 ambition, and the provision of means of implementation.
It will also provide opportunities to exchange relevant information on all aspects to be addressed in this Facilitative Dialogue, and particularly provide the space to showcase specific case studies or initiatives related to ambition and the provision of support.
The FD2018 will be a focal point of COP23 in November this year as it is mandated to take stock of the collective efforts of Parties towards the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal in Article 4 and to inform the preparation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the next round of which are due by 2020.