Climate Change and the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda

The Post-2015 Development Agenda refers to a process led by the United Nations (UN) that aims to help define the future global development framework that will succeed the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight global development targets which come to an end in 2015. It is being led in part by a UN System Task Team established by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to support UN system-wide preparations for the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. It comprises 60 UN agencies, as well as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In June 2012, it published the report “Realizing the Future We Want for All” which serves as an input to the work of the High Level Panel. On 31 July 2012, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed 27 civil society, private sector, and government leaders from all regions of the world to a High Level Panel (HLP) to advise him on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. 

Here in Africa, a Draft Common African Position (CAP) on Post-2015 Agenda was agreed upon at the 21st Ordinary Session of the Africa Union held on 30 – 31 January 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The document is structured around five pillars and enablers including: Pillar 1: Structural Economic Transformation and Inclusive Growth, Pillar 2: Science, Technology and Innovation, Pillar 3: People-centered Development, Pillar 4: Environmental Sustainability, Natural Resources Management and Disaster Risk Management and Pillar 5: Finance and Partnerships. The Enabling Implementation includes Peace and Security; Good Governance; Transparency and Fighting Corruption; Enabling Governance Architecture ; Human Rights for All; Macroeconomic Policy; Private Sector Development; a Credible Participatory Process; Monitoring and Evaluation; Traditional Knowledge; Capacity Development, etc. 

Climate change has been placed under as you would expect Pillar Four: Environmental Sustainability, Natural Resources Management and Disaster Risk Management, part (c) Climate Change. This part does not introduce anything new, rather what we already know such as:
  1. Committing to reduce deforestation, desertification and pollution, promote reforestation and reduce soil erosion ; improve land management promote renewable energies; promote efficiency of energy production, consumption and recycle; and effectively implement the Kyoto Protocol;
  2. Recognizing the fact that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our modern times, emphasizing Africa’s greatest vulnerability to climate change and its effects and that adaptation to the phenomenon represents an immediate and urgent global priority.
  3. Urging developed country parties to the UNFCCC to fully implement their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol in order to bridge the gap between the aggregate efforts of mitigation, pledge and aggregate pathways consistent with having the likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial level.
  4. Calling upon developed  countries  to  provide  sufficient  and  predictable  financing to developing countries mainly through capitalizing the Green  Climate  Fund  with  100 billion dollars per year by 2020 , as well as the transfer of technologies  and  capacity building in accordance with the relevant decisions  adopted  in Cancun
When this draft by the Heads of State of the High Level Committee on Common Africa Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda was released, the African Youth Working Group on Post-2015 Agenda (on behalf of over 100 diverse youth-led organisations and networks from across Africa), came out strongly voicing that “While we commend you for proposing a pillar on people centred development goal that is anchored on harnessing Africa’s youthful population, we are concerned that it does not fully reflect the desires and aspirations of many African youths, and it does not acknowledge the central role of young people in development and therefore deserves to be treated as an independent pillar/goal with set targets to achieve it to ensure political commitment to prioritize the young people’s needs and development”. 

Among other things it emphasized the need for a stand-alone goal/pillar on youth development and creation of decent job opportunities, recognizing and promote youth-centered inclusive growth, sexual and reproductive health and rights education among the youth and participatory governance. All in all, climate change in the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda is mainly about having a new global agreement that is poised to look fundamentally different from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
You can follow the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda from here!forum/beyond-2015-children-and-youth-wg.

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