African financing talk stalls in Dubai summit

By Protus Onyango - PAMACC

The African Group of Negotiators urges finance related to mitigation, adaptation, loss, and damage to be addressed before COP28 concludes tomorrow. In a statement released Sunday in Dubai, the AGN said COP28 should deliver a fair and balanced global stocktake, catalysing greater ambition across all facets of climate action.

These are aimed at promoting sustainable development; and climate finance where developed countries make meaningful financial commitments, both in quality and quantity, based on their obligations under the climate convention as well as the Paris Agreement,” said Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, who chairs the group.

Shitima said they anticipate tangible outcomes from COP28 that reflect Africa’s aspirations, particularly concerning the need for enhanced climate adaptation.

“We anticipate a robust outcome on the Framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) as the work programme concludes this session, and we are disappointed by the lack of progress on this crucial issue in the first week,” he said.

The negotiators have expressed concern about the lack of progress on various critical issues, particularly regarding finance and adaptation.

“With a few days remaining, we reiterate that adaptation is a key priority for the African continent and a critical component in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Adaptation is a matter of survival for us in Africa. What Africans need to see is action to help us adapt to this changing climate,” Shitima said.

He said leaders want assurance that the continent will cope with persistent droughts, devastating storms, and rising seas that threaten lives and livelihoods. The negotiators referred to the Adaptation Gap report released last month by Unep, revealing the scale of the problem – a widening gap between the adaptation needs of vulnerable countries and the funding that has been made available so far.

The report has unveiled that the gap is 50 per cent larger than previously thought and that the adaptation needs are now ten to 18 times as great as the flows of international public finance.

They aligned with the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, on the report, stating, “Lives and livelihoods are being lost and destroyed, with the vulnerable suffering the most. We are in an adaptation emergency. We must act like it. And take steps to close the adaptation gap, now.”


They said COP28 is mandated to conclude the work undertaken over the past two years under the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) by launching a robust framework.

“The outcome of the GGA is the most important for Africa at COP28, without which we would consider COP28 a failure. As we have stated before, at the heart of the framework is the development of qualitative and quantitative science-based targets that are measurable and time-bound to help us achieve the objective of the goal of adaptation,” Shitima said.

The negotiators praised the fulfilment of the Sharm El-Sheik COP27 decision to establish a new fund for loss and damage, describing it as a milestone achievement for the multilateral process.

“We note a historic and positive start to this conference where the loss and damage fund was operationalised, and initial financial commitments were made within minutes. As we welcome this good news, we are cautious of similar commitments made in the past, which, from our standpoint, have not been fulfilled,” Shitima said.

He hopes this won’t be the case with the loss and damage fund.

“We are aware that loss and damage require billions, if not trillions, of dollars. Therefore, we call for more resources to actualise the intended purpose of the Fund, addressing loss and damage,” the chairman said.

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