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The Africa Climate Justice Group - which is made up of 17 movements' based and allied organisations - and partners are hosting the first ever African People’s Counter COP from 25-27 October 2021. The main part of the event will take place online through self-organised sessions on topics related to the climate and ecological crisis with a focus on Africa. We will try to provide translation into French and Portuguese in each session and will arrange ‘watch parties’ so that local communities can participate. We will also be hosting a face-to-face meeting held in Senegal for Francophone groups - following the successful Francophone Climate Justice Gathering held in May this year - for dialogues, exchange and building solidarity across the sub-region. In a show of scope and unity of struggles across the region, we will support groups to take action on a proposed Africa Climate Day of Action on 5th November and on the Global Day of Action on 6th November.
Why a People’s Counter COP in Africa?
Faced with the impending climate crisis, in 1992, governments created the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - and within it the Conference of Parties (COPs) - to guide their negotiations about how to address climate change. However, over the last 26 years, the UNFCCC and COPs, as annual spaces for the negotiations - have been unable to progress towards real solutions to the climate crisis. This is because its agenda and actions have been skewed to preserve the profit-driven vested interests of powerful corporations and their allies in governments. Corporations and rich governments, and some parts of the scientific community, undermine solutions that address the core causes of climate change. What is needed is an end to fossil fuels extraction, the deindustrialisation of agriculture, and a rapid reduction in wasteful consumption in the developed parts of the world. For these 26 years, climate negotiations have been blocked and curtailed at every turn. Instead of taking decisive actions, Big corporations, with the support of some scientists and powerful governments, used this space to promote false solutions, which would provide them means to protect and expand their control over the global populations.. They don’t want to take financial, legal or any other responsibility for the damage caused, or to genuinely reduce climate change, as that would bring in less profit.
The UNFCCC has so far failed to get corporates and governments to make good on their commitments and methods needed to stem the climate crisis. Close to despair, we seethe rich and the powerful trying to control the forces of nature by seeding clouds for rain, depositing iron filings in the seas to absorb sunlight, and injecting aerosols into the atmosphere to cool the planet instead of cutting the death trail of pollution, destruction, and deadly emissions left by their lust for profit and power. These are false solutions – and we reject them.
Against this fraught backdrop, Africa is getting pummelled by the climate and other intersecting crises and stands to face the brunt of their impacts despite having historically contributed least to climate change. Africa is also heating up and the climate is changing much faster than other regions and misguided action, inaction and dithering will doom Africa to a perilous situation.
The African people, thir social movements and civil society are gathering together as movements, allies, partners and other progressive groups to share our knowledge and perspectives and build a common understanding and advocacy towards real solutions for Africa! We also want to challenge our governments and African institutions to go into the forthcoming COP26 in Glasgow or any other UNFCCC processes and negotiate in the interests of our African people and planet.
Reflect! Resist! Rise!
Reflect! Resist! Rise! - African Climate Justice Gathering
Francophone civil society movements and allied organizations across 13 countries in North, West and Central Africa met in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire from 18 to 20 May 2021 for the very first sub-regional gathering hosted by the African Climate Justice Group (ACJG). Hear voices and experiences from the gathering and more.
ONLINE Africa People’s Counter
25 - 27 October 2021
FRANCOPHONE People’s Counter COP, Senegal
25-27 October 2021
Africa Day of Action
5 November 2021
Global Day of Action
6 November 2021
Who is the African Climate Justice Group?
We are a group of African civil society organizations, movements of women, peasant communities, African citizens and more, that are fighting for climate justice, and standing in solidarity with the people of the world, especially those in the front lines of the impacts of the climate crisis. We see the urgent need to organize the progressive flank of the broadly defined ‘climate justice’ movement in Africa, to strengthen our voices and demands for systemic change from capitalism and its twin forces of racism and patriarchy that created this pandemic.
The climate crisis is already impacting some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in Africa. On top of generations of colonialism and exploitation, now Africans face further destruction and dispossession of their most basic resources in the form of land, water, and forest grabbing and polluting for extractive and dirty wars, energy projects, agribusiness and more.