COMESA Member States Meet to Prepare for COP27 in Egypt

The 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) on Climate Change will take place in Egypt from on 6 – 18 November and COMESA is gearing up for robust participation. On 6 – 7 October 2022, representatives from 13 Member States met in Harare, Zimbabwe for a preparatory workshop to develop a Regional Position Paper.

In the paper, the delegates put together strategic regional priorities and critical thematic issues for submission to the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) for the COP27. The agreed priorities will be included in the negotiating texts of the global discussions.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Hon. Mangaliso Ndlovu, who addressed the delegates said the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change requires the region to update its socio-economic policies and implement measures that direct financial flows towards low carbon and development of climate resilience.

“Our region is facing droughts which are negatively impacting the agriculture sector and tropical cyclones are causing infrastructure damage, forcing migration and the loss of life in some areas,” said Minister Ndlovu. “High Sea level rise is threatening coastal infrastructures and our people are already facing threats on their well-being and income.”

The preparatory meeting also provided a platform for COMESA Member States to brainstorm on the upcoming meeting, identify the most strategic issues for the region and work out regional priorities and positions especially in areas that are still outstanding and contentious. This meeting also helped to strengthen the capacity of Climate Change Negotiators in preparation for the negotiations.

Some of the critical outstanding issues arising from Bonn Intercessions include the long-term climate financing beyond $100 billion per year till 2025 pledge, global goal on adaptation, status of loss and damage and its financing modalities, preparations and requirements for global stock take, status of continental and global efforts towards NetZero by 2050 targets.

They also discussed the latest scientific report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with special focus on implications for Africa and the COMESA region in relation to adaptation, mitigation and meeting the Nationally Determined Contributions and Paris Agreement goal of 1.5-degree celcius. Discussions included progress made in complying with the provisions of the Paris Agreement and matters on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP27 agenda that have bearing on COMESA Member States.

COMESA Climate Change Unit Programme Manager, Ms Edith Tibahwa reiterated the organisation’s role in supporting solutions to transboundary issues related to a changing climate given its ability to pool existing knowledge and resources, leverage local and national policies, and giving a voice and robust bargaining position to African countries at international negotiations.

She commended the EU under the African Caribbean and Pacific’s Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) for supporting COMESA and other Regional Economic Communities advance their climate change programme.