The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has reiterated its commitment to work with civil society organisations to promote the continent’s climate change agenda and call for climate Justice for the citizens of Africa.
This was the message delivered by H.E Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, President of the PAP, during the Civil Society Event organised under the auspices of the Africa Pavilion at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The principal aim of the gathering was to emphasise the need for COP27 to be an African-people-centred process.
The President of the PAP reminded participants that the Continental Parliament is intended as a platform for people from all African states to be involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent. According to the Head of the legislative Organ of the African Union, the issue of climate change has become an emergency and requires a strong coalition between African Parliamentarians and civil society to ensure that the plight of Africans in this global crisis is heard.
“Let’s work together and unite on this issue of climate change, whose devastating and catastrophic effects are now common cause to every one of you. I wish to reiterate the firm commitment of the Pan-African Parliament to working hand in hand with civil society organisations and all relevant partners towards achieving fair and just climate resilience for Africa,” said H.E Hon. Charumbira.
The African civil society at COP27 is led by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a consortium of more than 1000 organisations from 48 African countries that brings together a diverse membership drawn from Grassroots, Community-based organizations, Faith-based Organizations, Non-Governmental organizations, Trusts, Foundations, Indigenous Communities, Farmers and Pastoralist Groups.
The PAP has been working with PACJA to integrate climate change into the legislative processes of African countries, as it remains the missing link in policy formulation and implementation. A legal framework that transforms policies into legal instruments to facilitate action at national and sub-national levels is regarded as an essential component to the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions of the Paris Agreement (NDCs).
The Civil Society Event held at COP27 also afforded an opportunity for an engagement between the PAP leadership and PACJA to explore an international conference on the margins of the March Sittings of the Permanent Committees of the PAP. The conference, which will draw all key stakeholders including parliamentary institutions, civil society and government representatives, will review the implementation of commitments made at COP27 while setting the agenda for COP28.