The Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Dr Mithika Mwenda, yesterday said global solidarity is in short supply and preventing robust responses to COVID-19 and Climate Change, which together are wrecking communities across Africa and the rest of the world.
Dr Mwenda made the statement at the ongoing Ninth Conference of Climate Change and Development in Africa in Santa Maria, Sal, Cape Verde.
He underlined that those delays, particularly by rich countries, to address the climate crisis and the uneven access to COVID-19 vaccines currently facing the global south all indicate the lack of political will to address problems that primarily affect poor countries.
“We have observed with keen interest the disruptions on global climate dialogue since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As countries restricted travel and meetings got cancelled, we missed important opportunities to take critical decisions to bring the world closer to limiting global warming to at least 20 Celsius this century.
“In the last two years, we also observed the lack of global solidarity in facing today’s pressing problems with a deep sense of worry. The amount of money rich countries raised within a few months to tackle COVID-19 was unbelievable, given that for years, they failed to respond similarly to the threats of climate change. There is only one possible explanation for this contradiction: climate change impacts primarily affect poor countries, whereas wealthy nations were hit the hardest by COVID-19.
“Indifference to suffering in the Global South continues to be self-evident in the unequal access to badly needed COVID-19 vaccinesin poor countries. It is amazing how poorly veiled the efforts of rich countries to starve Africa and other developing nations of essential doses has been. Additionally, we have learned that the world’s problems can no longer be analyzed and addressed in isolation.” The statement partly reads.
PACJA is a key partner in the CCDA-IX, which among others is galvanizing African voices ahead COP 26 billed Glasgow, UK, in November 2021.
The summit is taking place against reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluding that the world has done a bad job trying to reduce global warming.
The report predicts irreversible change may happen earlier than predicted – by mid-century – with devastating impacts, especially in Africa.
COVID-19 recovery is also expected to shape negotiations and decisions, at least indirectly.