Kenneth Amoateng, GCAP Ghana provided a short analysis of the events that unfolded at the COP:

  1. Communities are experiencing droughts and flooding which is causing loss of livelihoods and destroying farmlands and homes. This makes loss and damage an issue for us.
  2. Communities need to build adaptive capacity to the changing climatic conditions they are exposed to. This makes adaptation a key issue for us.
  3. Climate actions need funding support to be able to build resilient communities and reduce emissions from energy and transport which are the major emitters in Ghana

Article 6 on carbon markets is one of the critical issues that will determine whether or not this COP will be considered a success. So, there is a lot of pressure on negotiators to finalize it, but at what cost? In this haze, human and indigenous rights should not fall under the table. We think that it is shameful how some countries are holding back progress on this important topic. Further, we need to ensure that human and indigenous rights do not just become a meaningless ornament to the preamble of the rulebook on Article 6. Therefore, there must be a transparent, accessible and accountable grievance mechanism which must be incorporated to ensure that human and indigenous rights are protected and that carbon reduction projects can be verified and ultimately result in an overall reduction of global emissions needed to keep 1.5 alive.

In addition to that, the current failure of UNFCCC mechanisms to standardize a climate finance definition hinders progress on issues of finance. As much as Parties are now calling for harmonizing the term ‘climate finance’, it should not be limited to the $100 billion goal talks solely. There must be a climate finance delivery architecture which must be finalized and there must be prevalence of transparency, inclusiveness and accountability throughout. Inclusiveness lies in making climate finance more accessible. Parties cannot let developing countries go into high debt through climate finance mechanisms, mostly loans. As for the $100 billion target, it is worrisome that the date has been pushed back to 2023 when it was promised to be delivered by 2020, in particular considering that even the $100 billion target isn’t enough to meet the current conditional NDCs. High-income developed countries must continue to raise their contributions to the climate fund, delivering to what they committed, and committing to more.

The outcomes from COP26 must reflect this urgency and provide solutions that address the scale of the needs in developing countries and the vulnerable communities therein. Its decisions need to contribute to ensuring that adequate and needs-based support is available and is accessible to the most vulnerable people for upscaling adaptation and responding to loss and damage. This is not a matter of charity but of climate justice!