Pan-African Parliament and PACJA Harmonize Voices, Urge Climate Solutions in Africa


The Pan-African Parliament and the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) have highlighted the urgent need for climate action, calling for the implementation of effective policies to combat climate change.

During debates on climate change issues and the activity report of the Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources, the Pan-African Parliament emphasized the necessity of climate action.

Hon. Abdallah Barakat Ibrahim, Deputy Chair of the Committee, stated that after extensive consultations with partners, including PACJA and the African Climate Legislative Initiative (ACLI), the Committee resolved that developing a model law on climate change is critical to mitigating its impacts. He noted that most African countries lack dedicated legislative instruments to address climate change. A PACJA study revealed that only Kenya has enacted a specific climate change law, while other countries address it under broader environmental issues.

The Pan-African Parliament, in collaboration with PACJA, co-organized the Third African Parliamentarians’ Summit on Climate Policy and Equity on May 16-17, 2023, in Midrand, South Africa. The summit featured a keynote speech by H.E. Dr. William Samoei Ruto, President of Kenya and Chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). President Ruto called for parliamentarians to lead the climate justice agenda, raising awareness in their constituencies and lobbying for climate legislation.

A proposed Model Law on Soil Management in Africa is being developed by the Pan-African Parliament, Stellenbosch University, and the German Environment Agency to highlight the need for effective soil management for food security and climate change mitigation. The report indicates that degraded soils can lead to hunger, famine, migration, and conflict, emphasizing the importance of sustainable soil management for achieving the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly 'land degradation neutrality'.

The Pan-African Parliament participated in the Second Global Parliamentary Summit Against Hunger and Malnutrition in Valparaiso, Chile, on June 15-16, 2023. The delegation, facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), included Hon. Assane Marou Dit Koubou, Hon. Evaristus Njong, and Hon. Rodrick Khumbanyiwa.

Hon. Ibrahim highlighted that the project, funded by the German Ministry for Development Cooperation with a commitment of €500,000, aims to address unsustainable soil management practices in Africa. The project's first phase, involving studies in Zambia, Cameroon, and Kenya, is progressing well, with plans for new country studies in Niger, Ghana, Morocco, Botswana, and Mozambique.

Dr. Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director at PACJA, emphasized the importance of implementing climate treaties and protocols, noting that platforms like COP 29 sustain discussions on climate change. He highlighted the crucial role of parliamentarians in the climate change agenda, urging them to address issues of equality and justice, particularly for those disproportionately affected by climate change.

Dr. Mwenda outlined three dimensions of climate justice: distributive justice (who should bear responsibility and benefit from climate efforts), retributive justice (holding accountable those whose actions harm the climate), and procedural justice (fairness and transparency in decision-making processes). He stressed the importance of regulations and resource allocation to address climate challenges, emphasizing the need for inclusive policy processes to ensure ownership at the local level, particularly for smallholder farmers.