Failure of Madrid: A CSO Reflection of COP25 Monday December 23rd, 2019
by Salina Sanou, PACJA’s Head of Programmes and GCAP’s Global Co-Chair
The Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and African CSOs partners including GCAP national coalitions participated in the at the 25th UN Climate Change Conference which was held in Madrid-Spain. The conference involved meetings of five organs which are COP25, CMP15, CMA2, SBI51 and SBSTA51.
PACJA and African CSOs went to the conference with clear message on recognizing African special circumstances and needs; raising ambition on emission reduction and support – specifically climate finance for adaptation and loss and damage; finalizing the last element for Paris Agreement work-programme; and setting implementation framework for Gender Action Plan.
African CSOs closely followed the negotiations and engaged in a number of activities to influence the process to reach the intended targets. The activities included one-on-one meetings with Africa Group of Negotiators (AGN) Chair and a number of country delegation; press conferences; and side events. To bring the civil society spirit, PACJA and African CSOs also engaged several actions within the conference compound, on the street of Madrid during the traditional NGOs’ march and on the final day supported global youth groups in a very successful sit in. To ensure that all these are implemented as planned and effectively, African CSOs organised thefor the day’s events.
After the set two weeks of negotiations, the conference went more than 40 hours beyond the expected closing time on Friday evening – breaking a record to be the longest one ever to be held. The delay nevertheless did not result, in any way, in reflecting on the urgency and ambition needed to address the climate crisis.
Article 6 (Market and Non-Market Mechanism): Parties were not able to finalize the last element to operationalize the Paris Agreement in the form of Article 6 on market and non-market mechanisms. Africa demands were to see the discussion on this to be concluded at the conference and allow all countries to participate in the mechanism, while the main outcome should result in raising emission reduction ambition and finance for adaptation. Therefore, failure to agree on the mechanisms, further delayed emission reduction efforts and also the important climate finance for adaptation to African countries.
Pre-2020 Climate Finance and Long-term Climate Finance beyond 2020: disappointments were further observed on climate finance especially as the pre-2020 finance period is coming to an end. African countries wanted to take stock of the pre-2020 climate finance commitments and discussion on a clear new climate finance regime beyond 2020 in a form of new quantified climate finance goal. By the end of the conference, developed countries remained reluctant to neither report on what was provided to reach the USD 100 billion pre-2020 goal nor commit to the provision of climate finance beyond 2020.
Gender and Climate Change: Parties agreed on the enhanced five-year Lima work programme on gender and its gender action plan that is expected to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the UNFCCC process. The programme and its action plan did not however get the assurance of funding for its effective implementation as demanded by African countries.
Loss and Damage: Parties reviewed the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage as part of the two weeks discussion. In spite of this, further work is still needed to be done to effectively operationalize the functions of the Warsaw International Mechanism. Also, as it has been the case in other areas in need of support, developed countries refused to commit to the provision of finance on loss and damage despite recognizing the urgent need to do so.
 The Twenty-fifth session of the Conference of Parties
 The Fifteenth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol
 The Second Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement
 The Fifty-first session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation
 The Fifty-first session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice