The Africa Climate Justice Group, ACJG — which is made up of 17 movements based and allied organisations — and partners will host the first ever African People’s Counter COP from October 25 to 27.
The event will take place just days ahead of the official Conference of Parties, COP, 26 in Glasgow and the outcomes will be targeted to the African Group of Negotiators and African governments representing the continent at the climate negotiations.
The Counter-COP, a statement by ACJG Coordinator, Maimoni Ubrei-Joe noted, is being held in response to the failure of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — and within it the COPs — to progress towards real solutions to the climate crisis because its agenda and actions have been skewed to preserve the profit-driven vested interests of powerful corporations, governments of the Global North and other elites in the Global South.
Ubrei-Joe said: “For 26 years, the voices of communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis in Africa have been shut out and blocked at every turn of the climate negotiations by corporations and rich governments.
“These vested interests have undermined real solutions that address the core causes of climate change and have instead put forward a host of false solutions, all part of their green washing efforts.
“The Counter COP presents an opportunity for the voices of the people of Africa to finally be heard.”
The statement added that the main part of the Counter-COP will take place online through self-organised sessions on topics related to the climate and ecological crisis with a focus on Africa.
It will feature ‘watch parties’ so that local communities in different parts of Africa can participate.
A face-to-face meeting will also hold in Senegal for Francophone groups for dialogues, exchange and building solidarity across the sub-region.
For Oumou Koulibaly, Francophone Coordinator for Energy & Climate Justice at WoMin African Alliance and member of the ACJG, “This Francophone event will include grassroots communities from across Senegal and other parts of the sub-region in an important show of a more strengthened climate justice movement that is built on solidarity and counter-power.
“Participants will provide testimonies of their resistance against fossil fuels, carbon markets and other false solutions and together develop strategies for a just transition and building an alternative development pathway to the current corrupt, exploitative and harmful system.”
On the final day of the Counter COP, the African Peoples’ Agreement on Climate will be adopted.
Armed with the Agreement, the APCC will challenge African governments, institutions, and our African Group of Negotiators to go into the forthcoming COP26 in Glasgow or any other UNFCCC processes and negotiate in the interests of our African people and planet.
In a show of scope and unity of climate justice struggles across the region, the ACJG will equally support groups to carry out different actions on a proposed Africa Climate Day of Action on November 5 and on the Global Day of Action on November 6.