In a time of climate crisis, it is more than ever necessary to urgently implement the Paris Agreement by considering transformative approaches with long-term solutions, especially for countries in Africa where climate impacts are already dangerously widespread. A group of organisations based in Africa and in Europe is starting a process to tackle challenging climate-related topics in the African context in the run-up to the next UN climate change conference, COP27, scheduled to take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, between 6-18 November 2022.
The African Climate Dialogues, which bring together Church and civil society actors including communities and religious leaders from across the African continent and European organisations, are being launched today, 19 July. The main goal of the dialogues is to discuss African realities, personal experiences and perspectives on key topics related to the climate crisis. They will take the form of a series of meetings on key topics (see below) throughout August – September 2022, when expert participants will be invited to share their perspectives, discuss priorities and put forward solutions.
Inspired by Pope Francis’s call for synodality (journeying together in dialogue) and the Laudato Si’ encyclical, these participatory dialogues will reflect on climate realities of communities on the ground through the lens of Catholic Social Teachings, as well as climate science, distilling concrete policy outputs for COP27.
The outputs of these dialogues will be shared ahead of and during COP27 through a joint communiqué, composed of inputs from climate realities on the ground, spiritual and technical reflections directed at governments at the national, regional and international levels. Ahead of COP27, the ACD stakeholders will present the joint communiqué to the media at a press conference, using the COP pressure to advance domestic policies that promote the best policy and action outcomes.
What participants are saying:
- Francisca Ziniel, CYNESA
“The youth are bearing a disproportionate burden in this climate crisis and they must be involved to a larger extent around the discussions and the negotiations. Ensuring that a majority of them are there and have a say when decisions about their future are made is imperative to changing the tide and inducing the much-needed change. They have the numbers, the capacity and solutions to address the global challenges confronting the world.”
- Ecclesial Network Alliance
“As the dialogues create spaces for listening, reflection, debate and construction of solutions from a global perspective, they are connecting the priority biomes and territories for the planet (Congo, Amazon region, Mesoamerica, Asia, Guaraní Aquifer) so that different voices around the world can be heard with their complaints and suggestions”.
- Lydia Machaka, CIDSE
“Science is clear that we stand to face unavoidable multiple climate hazards over the next two decades with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F). Already we are feeling dire climate impacts around the world and people and ecosystems least able to cope are being hardest hit. COP27 must deliver real and urgent climate action now. We must put our differences aside and unite towards protecting and caring for our common home!”
- Chika Onyejiuwa, AEFJN
“African communities are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts in the world. Carbon trade leaves more questions unanswered in the climate negotiations and should be thrown out in COP 27.”