COP28 Civil Society Statement
The Botswana Climate Change Network, representing its individual and civil society organisation members, recognising the urgency of the climate crisis, concerned by the inadequate global and local action to address the climate crisis, and motivated by the hopes and admirations of the grassroots communities and marginalised groups of Botswana for a just transition and a climate resilient world, makes this statement ahead of the UNFCCC 28th Session of The Conference of Parties.
We are disturbed by the findings of the Global Stocktake Report which unreservedly warns that the world is NOT on track to achieve the commitments made under the Paris Agreement. Global emissions continue to soar against the set emissions reduction commitments. All the while, 2023 is projected to be the hottest year on record, a beaconing reminder that the effects of climate change are not only here, but they are worsening and will continue to decimate the lives of the world’s poor, especially those in the global south.
In 2022 alone, total energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased to an all-time high of 41.3 Gt CO2-eq. While the world pledged to phase out coal by the 2030s for developed nations under the Glasgow Climate Pact in 2021, global coal production in 2022 increased by 7.9%, reaching a new all-time high and resulting in 8 billion tons of production in a single year. Oil production, on the other hand, had increased by a record 5.4%, much above its previous growth rate of 1.6%. It is clear that while global leaders continue to make commitments towards climate action, even though these commitments are already lacking in ambition, the developed world continues to fail these commitments and risk absolute climate catastrophe if this is not corrected. It is our position that countries must prioritise the accelerated phasing out (and not just phasing down) of all fossil fuels, not just unabated fossil fuels. Fossil fuels have no place in a net-zero world.
We are deeply concerned by the developed world’s failure to meet its commitment to finance the US$100 billion per year climate finance target as indicated in the Paris Agreement. Although the adaptation finance gap for developing countries now stands at US$194-366 billion per year, adaptation finance flows to the developing world fell by 15% to USD$21 billion in 2021, against the US$40 billion promised by the developed world under the Glascow Climate Pact during COP26. This saddening financial disparity for climate action in the developing Global South and the failure of the developed world to pay their dues are alarming. We call for the scaling up of climate finance flows, both domestically and internationally, stressing the need to prioritize the financial needs of the developing world and ensure a balance in mitigation and adaptation finance flows as dictated by Article 9 of the Paris Agreement. We further emphasize the need to accelerate work on the operationalization of the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) to enhance global efforts on climate adaptation and resilience building.
We are dismayed by the rich developed world’s refusal to take responsibility for the loss and damage impacts that developing countries continue to experience as a result of their historical and current GHG emissions in the name of industrialisation and economic growth. It is our view that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities needs to carry more weight. The Loss and Damage Fund needs to function as more than just a voluntary “GoFundMe” for climate action. Developed countries must take responsibility and carry the obligation of capitalising the fund. We urge all governments and negotiators to be stern on this position and deliver a just and equitable transition at COP28 on this note.
In recognition of the role that private corporations play in exacerbating climate change, we call on the private sector to take greater accountability in mitigating their emissions and transforming business practices to align with global ambitions for a net zero world. While we call for greater, more transparent and accessible public finance initiatives to drive locally led adaptation initiatives, we urge private sector corporations to play a greater role in providing financial support towards the just transition.
We further call on African governments, particularly the Government of the Republic of Botswana, to demonstrate leadership and accountability in local climate action. We specifically call on the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology, and Energy Security (MMGE) to reconsider its plans for fossil fuel extraction and exploration in Botswana, to disincentivize the development of new high-carbon-emitting projects, and to accelerate the development of renewable energy projects. It is our position that, given Botswana’s solar energy potential, the current 15% energy mix share for renewables targeted under the Integrated Resource Plan is not only unambitious but impractical. We call for the development of an integrated, multisectoral plan for a just energy transition in Botswana, providing strategic guidance on sector-by-sector plans to not only reach carbon neutrality in local energy systems but also emphasize equitable climate resilience building.
In conclusion, we, the Botswana Climate Change Network, express deep concern over the escalating climate crisis and the inadequate global and local responses to it. We highlight the Global Stocktake’s Synthesis Report's warning that the world is off track to meet Paris Agreement commitments and discourage the continued rise in fossil fuel production, despite pledges to phase them out, as well as the developed world's failure to meet its climate finance commitments, further widening the adaptation finance gap for developing countries. This statement calls for urgent, escalated phasing out of all fossil fuels, increased climate finance flows to developing nations, and greater accountability from the private sector. It also urges the developed world to take responsibility for loss and damage impacts on developing countries and for African governments, particularly Botswana, to show leadership in local climate action and renewable energy development. As the world now prepares for COP28 in the UAE this month, we call on all parties and non-state actors to take responsibility and accountability and #KeepYourPromise