COP 26: What do African countries think about the Glasgow Climate Pact?

The curtains fell, Saturday, November 13, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 26th United Nations Climate Conference (COP26). After 2 weeks, the negotiators succeeded in adopting the “Glasgow Climate Pact” aimed at accelerating the fight against global warming. Even if progress is noted, Africans have expressed their frustration with the result of the COP 26.

Africa countries state that there’s no new aid for poor countries, which demanded substantial financial compensation for the losses and damages they’ve suffered as a result of climate change. Poor countries expected rich countries whose emissions are primarily responsible for climate change to honor their commitment to mobilize $100 billion per year from 2020 to deal with the adverse effects of climate change. In 2019, all aid paid by rich countries to less developed countries is estimated to have been $ 79.6 billion according to the latest report published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in September.

Disappointment of the Africa Group

“We are disappointed, to say the least, ” responded Keriako Tobiko, Kenyan Minister for the Environment. For Aïssatou Diouf of the Climate Action Network, “developed countries have not lived up to the climate emergency”

Caumouth Alban Koissi representing Ivory Coast international NGO Green Page, has lamented on Radio France Internationale (RFI) that in providing assistance to developing countries, the major powers have not fulfilled their past promises, nor even properly adopted the mechanism of compensation for loss and damage. A principle of solidarity which, according to him, is sorely lacking.

Several points were discussed during the COP 26. In Glasgow, negotiators worked on, among other things, the gradual phase-out of coal, the protection of vulnerable communities from the impact of climate change and respect for the commitment of $ 100 billion in climate finance to support developing countries. 

“We can do it” 

According to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres the objectives were not “reached at this conference.” However, he does not give up hope. “ The path to progress is not always a straight line . There are sometimes detours. There are sometimes gaps (…) We will not reach our destination in a day or a conference. But I know we can do it, ”he said. Like him, the president of COP26, Alok Sharma, said he was “ deeply sorry ” and regretted the last minute changes requested by China and India on the issue of fossil fuels.

India in fact asked to modify the final text of the agreement to say “phase down” rather than “phase out” coal power. This country has defended the right of developing countries to “responsible use” of fossil fuels, the main cause of global warming. Although he understands “the deep disappointment”, Alok Sharma thinks it is “also vital that we protect this agreement”.

“We can live with paragraphs”

It should be noted, however, that the Glasgow Pact ” urges ” developed countries to double their funding for adaptation by 2025. Despite disagreements over “loss and damage”, different groups of developing countries said on Saturday that they would not block the adoption of a final declaration at COP26. It is obviously done even if they are not satisfied. “In a spirit of compromise we can live with paragraphs,” said Amadou Sebory Touré, head of the G77 + China (over 100 developing and emerging countries) negotiating group during a plenary on the draft text.

This story was originally published on Le Monde Rural, with the support of Climate Tracker.

Daouda Kinda
Daouda KINDA is a young Burkinabè journalist born in Ouahigouya in northern Burkina Faso. He’s published on several topics related to politics, economy and society, but has been focusing on environmental and agricultural news for the past 3 years. Currently, he works for Le Quotidien, a Burkinabè general information medium, where he leads the environment desk.