By Imali Ngusale
As the Global Stock-take discussion processes gather steam, it is emerging that Africa, with the greatest burden of negative climate impacts could be required to to build resilience to climate impacts without any financial aid.
The global stock take process began in 1972 when nation States consented Article 14 of the Paris Agreement. The is designed to assess the collective progress towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperatures, build resilience to climate impacts and align financial sustenance with the scale and scope required to tackle the climate crisis.
African countries have contributed the least to the greenhouse gas emission and have incurred climate debt at their own expense.
Painstakingly, Simon Stiell, the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said, “The world is asking a lot: Develop, but don’t do it in the carbon intensive way that we did.” Meaning, that Africa needs to seek alternative ways for development (which are more costly) and limit their own carbon emission while the West can continue developing with little to zero restrictions.
If African States contend with the idea that they are solely responsible for climate crisis, it means that they will be more indebted while trying to fulfil their obligations in the global stock take process. Africans with therefore be subjected to deep inequalities because of the triple planetary crisis and their inability to afford the cost of reducing carbon emission.
Dr Janez Potocnik, UN International Resource Panel co-Chair (previously EU Commissioner Environment), said, “High-developed countries have benefitted most, and have driven the planetary crisis, while emerging and developing economies hold least responsibility, and are facing the worst impacts.”
Potocnik believes that African States need to look at the alarming climate trends least they sink into deep financial inequalities.
“It is highly important that citizens are best informed about resource use and it is highly important that efficiency policies are complemented with sufficiency optic,” added Potocnik.
Speaking with the same tone, Michael Wadleigh, Oscar winner, and coordinator Existential Stock-take said, “Greenhouse gases emissions and the major causes of climate change, are off the table at the Africa Climate Week and Summit.”
“ This is absolutely fatal for Africa right now, and for all of humanity very soon,” lauded Wadleigh.
“There is no global government, and existential Stock-take gives every nation’s adequate responsible reductions to stay below 1.5 C / 2 C global warming,” added Wadleigh.
Indeed, every nation State is responsible for global warming primarily because we share the same planet. However, we do not share the same knowledge and do not have the same data of how bad the climate crisis is.
Debra Roberts, South Africa’s, AR6 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Co- Chair said, “A whole-of-society approach to the climate change challenge requires truly open data.” “We need data to be accessible and comprehensible not only to national governments, but those making decisions at the local level where people live and work, added Dr. Roberts.
Notably, existential Stock-take gives all nations’ per capita capabilities and responsibilities to be within UN science limits to realize it is our collective responsibility to save our planets. African States should therefore not be coerced or cajoled to clean up the mess they did not make.
More information regarding facts on the global stock-take is available here