Africa's Sustainability Transition in a Post-Fossil World: Posture, Negotiation, and Agreements
Africa’s Sustainability Transition in a Post-Fossil World:
Posture, Negotiation, and Agreements
Adebayo Majekolagbe
ABSTRACT: 48 years after the Stockholm Conference and 28 years after the Earth Summit, Africa remains on the lowest rung of the global sustainability ladder. The continent is projected to bear the direct brunt of climate change, has the least financial and technological capacity to respond to it, and consequently, has been unable to be an active participant in the global mitigation drive. Under the aegis of the group of 77 and China (G77), African countries have generally staked their claims in international negotiations on the ecological space and historical reparation arguments. I argue in this article that while global climate negotiation cannot be detached from its historical context as attempted by the north’s capacity approach, the ecological space argument is contrary to the developmental agenda of developing states, particularly African countries. The inappositeness of using the G77 as the primary negotiation vehicle and a monetary and technology transfer dominated negotiation demands are also identified as problematic. I argue for a rethinking of the normative basis of Africa’s negotiating positions and an Africanisation of climate negotiations. I further propose a non-monetary alternative to reparation - the normative payment approach. The proposals here seek to consider ways to circumvent the antagonistic dynamics of climate negotiations, while effectively addressing the shortage of financial and technological capacity for mitigation and adaptation initiatives in the African States outside the current model of financial and technological ‘hand-outs’.

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