Setting the Bar High in Warsaw – By Hamzat Lawal // We Want To Hear From You, What Are Your Expectations from COP 19?

At the Warsaw stadium, where the ongoing climate talks are being held, delegates, activists, NGOs, and young people are keeping their fingers crossed with high expectations in coming days, leading to the 2015 global climate deal in Paris. I hope that the ongoing negations in Warsaw would inspire and shapen the outcomes of various positions leading to a next global climate binding deal, most especially, commitments within developed countries and how it would impact positively on the developing and under developed countries in mitigation and adaptation.

setting bar high

In coming days, countries and blocks under the UNFCCC treaty would be delivering and deliberating their various positions and action plans towards Adaptation; Finance; Technology Transfer; Agriculture; Mitigation; Loss & Damages; Capacity Building, and much more.

During lunch, I had a chat with Samson Ogallah of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and Atayi Babs, Convener of Journalists for Climate Change (JCC) & West African Coordinator, Pan-African Media Alliance for Climate Change. Ogallah highlighted the need for Negotiators and African leaders at COP 19 not to compromise on their demand to ensure industrialized countries compensate affected communities and countries for the full costs of avoiding damage and lost opportunities for development resulting from climate change. He stressed that efforts to establish adaptation as an obligation and not a right, or to use adaptation as a means to divide or differentiate between developing countries should be resisted. ‘An international mechanism for compensation on the loss and damage caused by extreme weather events related to climate change should thus be established’. Though the Green Climate Fund has been established, many observers fear that it may follow the direction of other Climate Funds before it, which remain empty shells after they were shunned by industrialized countries, that favor undemocratic multilateral institutions they can control’.

Babs, while contributing to the discussions supported the positions of “loss and damage” as a key area of discussions for the new climate agreement. In his words – ‘I therefore call for the blanket of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere to be returned to well below 300ppm CO2eq and warning to be limited to well below 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels’. I expect that there should be no compromise on the demand that industrialized countries compensate affected communities and countries. He hopes that an international compensatory mechanism on loss and damage be vigorously promoted and established with time-lines for implementation during the talks.

Nigerian negotiators should ensure that the decisions they support at global levels lead to atmospheric concentrations stabilized in a time frame that safeguards food production and ecological systems to adapt naturally, safeguard jobs and economic development.

‘In view of the inescapable fact that agriculture remains one of the crucial sectors affected by climate change and which supports food and livelihoods of millions of Nigerians, I expect Nigerian negotiators to assiduously work towards the conclusion of the agriculture negotiations under UNFCCC with focus on adaptation and expand the remit to cover sustainable livestock production systems as part of solution to climate change’, Babs stressed.

Funding is very important in putting in place a workable adaptation strategy and meeting our obligations to the UNFCCC on our mitigation and adaptation strategies. As much as we welcome commitments of $100,000 annually, it is important to make public the allocation of these resources as well as it sources.

Oluwafunmilayo Oyatogun, Founder of Bailiff Africa in one of her correspondences to me from Nigeria stated “ I hope something good will come out of COP 19; something good that doesn’t resemble a hand-out or remnant for Africa. The year 2015 is critical for Nigeria with the change of government and the re-directing of MDGs, and Nigeria sits at the forefront of several cliffs of Climate Change. So, we need Africa-friendly results from negotiations out of COP19.”

So, what about you? We want to hear from you: what are your expectations and how would you contribute to the entire process in making the talks a successful outcome.

—About Hamzat Lawal—

Hamzat Lawal, is an Activist, Climate Negotiator Tracker, currently an Executive with the International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development and Co-Founded the Nigerian Youth Climate Action Network. He has contributed to grass root mobilization in raising awareness on environmental & sustainable development issues as well as policy communications & advocacy and has represented young people in various United Nations conferences. He is currently one of the few Nigerian reps present at the COP 19 meeting in Warsaw, Poland.

This post was first published on AdoptANegotiator.Org

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