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African Group of Negotiators Prepares Position for COP17/CMP7

11 August 2011: The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) recently met to prepare for the resumed session of the UNFCCC's negotiations, which will convene in Panama in October. The AGN Bureau met first, to discuss strategic issues related to Africa's engagement in preparations for the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa (COP17/CMP7). The full AGN then discussed several negotiation issues.

The AGN convened from 6-10 August 2011, in Durban, South Africa, with the Bureau meeting taking place during the first two days. The AGN Bureau was formed at the request of the African Union (AU) to enhance Africa's engagement with "one voice" at the negotiations. The Bureau deliberated on, among other issues, updating the Africa Common Position on Climate Change, entitled "African Climate Platform for Durban," which is to be considered and adopted at the upcoming Special Session of African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to be held in Bamako, Mali, from 12-16 September 2011.

The full AGN, chaired by Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Democratic Republic of Congo, convened following the Bureau meeting to engage and further develop the "African Climate Platform for Durban." The AGN stressed that a balanced and ambitious outcome to the Durban negotiations is essential. It called for maintaining the integrity of Africa's socio-economic development as an essential goal of all participating African countries. They also called for ensuring full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC through the multilateral process by resolving issues arising from COP 13 and operationalizing the Cancun Agreement, and said a solution to the second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol as a central outcome of COP17 is necessary to protect the global climate.

On mitigation, the AGN called for developed countries to make ambitious mitigation commitments of at least 40 percent from 2013-2017 and to reduce emissions by at least 95 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

On adaptation, the AGN urged making this issue central to any deal, through ensuring a process for concrete implementation of related activities, and recognizing that adaptation and financing needs depend on emission reduction ambitions of all Parties. The AGN noted that COP 17 is expected to: finalize an Adaptation Framework; develop guidelines and support for National Adaptation Plans; and build momentum toward a mechanism for compensating climate-related loss or damage.

On technology, the AGN said this should be addressed through operationalizing the Technology Mechanism agreed in Cancun.

On finance, the AGN noted that there is an opportunity for: an enhanced common reporting framework for short-term finance; clarity about the long-term sources and scale of finance for developing countries; and operationalizing the Green Climate Fund.

On the question of the Kyoto Protocol, the AGN emphasized the need for leadership, specifically urging developed countries to take this role to ensure there is no gap between commitment periods.

The AGN is expected to convene again immediately before the next negotiating session in Panama City, Panama, which is scheduled for 1-7 October 2011. [Press Release from Government of South Africa]