Fisheries is a critical issue for sustainable development of all EAC countries, whether having access to the ocean or relying on inland fishing. This meeting gathered East African negotiators at both UNFCCC and the WTO, who shared perspectives on the way forward for fisheries in both fora.
As part of their climate commitments made at COP21 in Paris, UNFCCC members states are implementing so-called Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs) which guide their actions in mitigating and adapting to climate change. At this meeting, East African climate negotiators considered feedback from their private sector consituencies about how these intended climate actions should support agro-processing including through transfer of technology. Identified as a key sector for development in this region, agro-processing is vulnerable to climate change.
Within the UNFCCC process, the Conference of the Parties confirmed the importance of enhancing climate technology development and transfer to developing countries, establishing a Technology Mechanism in 2010. The Paris Agreement commits nations to ‘strengthen cooperative action’ on climate technology, and introduces both a ‘long-term vision’ on technology’s contribution to climate resilience and mitigation and a ‘technology framework’ to guide the work of the Climate Convention’s existing Technology Mechanism.
The UNFCCC Paris Agreement clearly recognises developing and least developing countries' need for support in coping with climate change, with some mechanisms already in the pipeline to that effect. On the eve of COP22, East African Climate Negotiators met in Marrakesh to discuss their stakeholders' perspectives on such international climate support mechanisms, including climate finance which would be a negotiating priority for developing countries at the COP22.
Trade concerns are increasingly discussed within the UNFCCC where for instance, Article 3.5 of the UNFCCC states that climate change measures should not pose a restriction on international trade. While the recent Paris Climate Conference did not explicitly address trade policy measures, the resulting agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) may have several implications on trade that cannot be overlooked. Similarly, WTO negotiations on climate change revolve around eliminating trade barriers in eco-friendly goods and services. At this meeting, climate and trade negotiators met in Kampala, Uganda, in an effort to better coordinate their positions in these two fora.
Even if there is no explicit mention of agriculture in the Paris Agreement, a number of issues related to and affecting agriculture, such as food security and food production, have been consistently mentioned in the document. One of the main points of discussion at UNFCCC remains the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) as well as the agenda and missions of the APA. It is in this context that the 2nd EAC Climate Negotiators’ Forum met to discuss stakeholder perspectives on the INDCs and APA’s role.
This note tries to gather all information related to climate agreements (Kyoto Protocol & Universal Paris Agreement)’ implementation action to be taken at national, regional and international level for EAC countries. EAC climate negotiators will be involved in the processes related to implementation of those agreements, as well as will be entitled to participate in a wide range of UNFCCC meetings and conferences organized by international and regional organizations. CUTS International, Geneva has compiled the agenda of UNFCCC events as well as major climate events organized by international and regional organizations.
After two weeks of intense negotiations, nearly 200 countries agreed on a Paris Climate Agreement through which they have committed to cut their carbon emissions and shift towards a low-carbon economy. Going forward, East African Climate Negotiators to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were updated at this meeting about what people on the ground think about the agreement, and discuss the upcoming deadlines for this year and beyond.
Africa and its communities, its lands and its markets have been one of the main victims of climate change for years. Even if it is commonly agreed that African countries have contributed much less to climate change, it is now time for all take responsibilities and jointly take coherent and equitable decisions to protect our environment for future generations. The 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) represents a critical moment to ensure sustainable development and livelihoods, especially for the poorest communities. In this view, the African voice must be heard and taken into account appropriately into the final decision.