COMESA and EAC develop Position Papers on Climate Change Negotiations
East African Community Headquarters, Kigali , Rwanda 13th November, 2019: The East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretariats have come up with position papers to guide negotiations of the Africa Group of Negotiators (AGN) for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) also known as Conference of Parties (COP25) set for 2-13 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
The Position papers were agreed upon during a two-day regional technical consultative workshop in Kigali on 8 – 9 November 2019. The Secretariats, both beneficiaries of the European Union’s ACP’s Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) grant, jointly organized the Pre-COP25 technical meeting to come up with regional position papers consolidated from national positions of their respective member countries for submission to the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to guide Africa in the negotiations during COP25 sessions.
The Secretariats believe that presenting the position papers will enhance preparedness and guarantee successful participation of Africa at the UNFCCC COP25. The finalized position papers will be submitted to the Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN).
Both the EAC and COMESA have observer status to the UNFCCC processes and plan to participate in the forthcoming COP25 sessions to showcase the milestones, achievements and lessons learnt from the implementation of their climate change programmes in the region.
The meeting is important to identify key regional priorities to guide negotiations at the international climate change meetings that will reduce climate change vulnerability of the region, Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana, Director of Productive Sectors at the EAC Secretariat emphasized.
The adverse impacts of climate change in the region is real and the region continues to receive support from partners to build resilience and reduce vulnerability of the local communities and contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Chairperson of the meeting, Mr. Faustin Munyazikwiye, Deputy Director General, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), Republic of Rwanda said.
Both Secretariats believe it is important that African countries engage effectively in intergovernmental climate change negotiations, decision-making processes and eventual implementation of the decisions taken. The two blocs are cognizant that Regional Economic Communities have a critical role to play in supporting solutions to trans-boundary issues related to a changing climate.
Most of the EAC Partner States and COMESA Member States are fully engaged in the on-going discussions and negotiations to find a lasting and sustainable solution to the challenge of climate change. They have all ratified the Paris Agreement of 2015 and submitted their ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) given their circumstances.
The regional consultative meeting brought together negotiators and policy-makers including National Climate Change Focal Points for UNFCCC and Ministries responsible for EAC Affairs and representatives from EAC Partner States and COMESA member countries.
The combined list of Member/Partner States that participated in the consultation are: Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Seychelles, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
For Queries Contact:
Eng. Ladislaus K. Leonidas
Principal Environment and Natural Resources Officer
East African Community Secretariat
Dr Maclay Kanyangarara
Climate Change Programme Co-ordinator