Following extensive negotiations at the Twenty–Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), held from 6th to 18th November, 2022, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, nearly 200 countries have agreed on a set of key outcomes, including the establishment of a fund to address loss and damage due to climate change.

Welcoming the developments, two (2) Honourable Members of Parliament who participated in COP27, namely; Mr Twaambo Mutinta, MP, Co-Chairperson of the Zambian Parliamentary Caucus on Environment and Climate Change (ZPCECC); and Ms Maureen Mabonga, MP, Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources, stated that the decision to create a Loss and Damage Fund under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was long overdue, but a necessary first step in the process of rectifying the systemic injustice to billions of people, particularly in the Global South, who are the least responsible, and yet are on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

Meanwhile, parliamentarians from Africa, who participated in COP27, have resolved to establish the African Parliamentarians Network on Climate Action (APNOCA) to follow-up on and provide oversight over the implementation of decisions and resolutions made at COP Meetings. The Network will also work to build solidarity and coordinate African parliamentary action on climate change.

The Network will be affiliated to the Climate Vulnerable Forum Global Parliamentary Group (CVF GPG), which is a global forum for parliamentarians to discuss how to advance the climate agenda in their own countries and beyond. During the first meeting held on the sidelines of COP27 at which the idea to establish APNOCA was mooted, Zambia was elected as the Interim Rapporteur of the Network, via Mr Twaambo Mutinta, MP, with Uganda and Ghana being elected as Interim Chair and Interim Vice-Chair, respectively.

The two parliamentarians have described their participation in the COP27 as eye-opening and critical to their oversight work on environment and climate change issues. The Members noted that participating in the COP allowed them to appreciate and be privy to pertinent information, as well as Government negotiating positions that feed into the adoption of resolutions and decisions on climate change made at such international fora. For this reason, the Members expressed gratitude to the Right Honourable Madam Speaker for affording them an opportunity to participate in COP27. Further, the Members called upon the National Assembly Management to continue sending a parliamentary delegation to future COP Meetings especially that the adoption of decisions and resolutions at COP Meetings are cumulative and result from previous discussions and negotiations.

COP27 brought together more than 45,000 participants to share ideas, solutions, and build partnerships and coalitions. Indigenous peoples, local communities, cities and civil society, including youth and children, showcased how they are addressing climate change and shared how it impacts their lives. The decisions taken during COP27 reemphasise the critical importance of empowering all stakeholders, including parliamentarians, to drive greater and more inclusive climate action at all levels.