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The progress of multilateral climate talks in the UNFCCC should reflect the needs of our people, it is a matter of justice.


The UNFCCC has recently held virtual meetings of its Subsidiary Bodies, there were many issues which were discussed, they include common times frames for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) joint work on agriculture, global stocktake, climate finance and matters relating to article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and various others. While these matters are discussed on an international platform, they are not disconnected from aiming to reflect the needs of our people in local communities. The lack of sense of emergency in moving forward at a necessary pace to respond to climate change impacts and meet the 2030 threshold of liming global warming to 1.5C, and to create a resilient society by strengthening adaptation mechanisms is creating more stresses, for instance, water scarcity, droughts, food insecurity, etc. It is a matter of justice that these multilateral talks should always reflect a sense of emergency to respond to these realities. 


As we are now looking forward to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), we expect progress outcomes that will move the world forward in terms of fully operationalizing the Paris Agreement; the PA is a global legal framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and creating a resilient society by mitigation and adaptation measures, and national governments are expected to implement it in their national circumstances by developing Nationally Determined Contributions. At COP26, all governments must have submitted their first NDCs to move the world forward. However, there are anticipated challenges in terms of making enough progress for the world to move forward, it’s about ambition. 


NDCs must be ambitious enough, and ambition refers to various aspects; on mitigation, these plans must be a pathway to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C by 2030, and there must be ambitious enough to enable all communities and especially the most vulnerable including women, youth and people living in rural areas to adapt. Another challenge in this process is finance, currently, there is an imbalance between financing mitigation and adaptation activities, and although a large portion of climate finance is on mitigation, a very small portion could reach local communities. 


Science has warned us over the years that we have until 2030 to do justice for the future of this planet and the unborn generation. It has become an ethical problem that solutions to the climate crisis have always been made available, but it has taken many years to overcome. Itt will be a significant mistake if COP26 does not have better and strong outcomes to move the world forward. As people of faith, we continue to reflect on these processes, and demand justice for our mother earth. Our leaders must demonstrate their commitment to care for the people that they represent. 


Khulekani Magwaza

SAFCEI Energy and Climate Justice Coordinator

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