Pan African Parliamentarians Unite for Bold Climate Action at PAP Summit
Under theme : “THE CONTINENT AT CROSSROADS: Graceful just transition and NDCs implementation responsive to African development aspirations and economic realities” The Pan African Parliamentarian Summit on Climate Policy and Equity commenced its first day with a resounding call to action. Distinguished speakers from around the globe gathered to address the pressing issue of climate change and pave the way towards COP28. As the discussions unfolded, the overarching theme of accountability, urgency, and inclusive decision-making emerged, igniting a flame of hope for transformative change.
Setting the Stage
Prioritizing Accountability and Action The summit emphasized that accountability must take center stage in the fight against climate change. Participants acknowledged the importance of moving beyond mere rhetoric and into tangible actions. Amb.Joseph Sacco, AU Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (ARBE)’s powerful statement echoed throughout the conference halls: “Accountability, not tourism, should be the essence of COP!” It underscored the need for concrete results and measurable impact.
Beyond Terminologies: Going Above and Beyond .
H.E. Hon Chied Fortune Charumbira, President of the Pan-African Parliament passionately argued that it is time to transcend terminology and focus on real solutions:”While adaptation and mitigation have been extensively discussed, the challenge lies in translating these concepts into practical outcomes. The urgency of the climate crisis demands a shift from discussions to implementation.” he said
Leaving No One Behind :Inclusive Decision-Making
A key highlight of the summit was the collective commitment to leaving no one behind. “Climate change cannot be an issue exclusive to the elites; it must be a concern that encompasses all segments of society” Siad the President of the PAP. He expressed the need for inclusiveness in decision-making, ensuring that the voices of marginalized communities, youth, and indigenous groups are heard and integrated into climate solutions: “The aim is to build a future where no one is left behind in the face of environmental challenges.”
Other speakers echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need for concrete action and measurable impact. In line with these calls, Dr Mithika Mwenda, Executive director of the Pan African Climate justice Alliance the co-convener of the summit, emphasized the urgency of taking concrete steps at the PAP Summit: “At this PAP Summit, we must embrace our responsibility to protect both people and the planet. It’s time for action, not just words! Let’s outline concrete steps, hold ourselves accountable, and implement solutions within agreed timeframes. Together, we can harness renewable energy, create green and circular jobs, reduce waste, and promote employment. Let’s prioritize gender equality and inclusiveness in decision-making.”
A Unique African Position:Consolidating Regional Leadership
The PAP Summit serves as a vital platform for African parliamentarians to consolidate a unique African position towards COP28. The output from this summit will play a pivotal role in shaping the African Climate Summit in September, to be held in Nairobi and the road towards COP28. It is an opportunity for African nations to forge a united front, highlighting the specific needs and circumstances of the continent. By aligning their efforts, African leaders aim to make a substantial impact on the global climate agenda.
From Words to Action
The first day of the PAP Summit has set a firm foundation for accelerated climate action. The call for accountability, the drive to go beyond terminologies, the commitment to inclusiveness, and the consolidation of an African position are all critical components in the fight against climate change. As the summit progresses, the focus will shift to formulating practical strategies, fostering international cooperation, and galvanizing political will.
The summit will continue over the next day, with a range of workshops, panel discussions. The PAP is expected to produce a set of concrete recommendations and proposals for action, which will inform policy and advocacy efforts on climate change throughout the region.