Deconstructing the African position at COP17
Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, the lead negotiator of the African Group, the only regional grouping serving as a negotiation coalition, admitted at a press briefing on Wednesday that it remained for civil society, activists and the media to rescue climate change diplomacy from the doldrums of negotiating texts to the real-life effects of climate change.
He described the African position as “aiming for the moon”, but conceded that negotiations were about give and take. The continent’s lead negotiator stressed Africa had a vested interest in ensuring the Durban negotiations were a success. To this end, he said ministers had offered negotiators five pieces of advice prioritising multilateralism, a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol, adaptation and concrete means of implementation and “operationalisation” through implementation of the Bali action plan.
The African Common Position on Climate Change, is endorsed by South Africa, was agreed in September in Mali. While the united position held well for the first week of negotiations, reports indicate the common African position on agriculture has started to disintegrate after the arrival of ministers this week.