By a correspondent


The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has launched the seventh African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting (ACCER) Awards.
Journalists reporting on climate change will have up to May 18, 2022 to submit their entries to be crowned as winners in print, online and broadcast categories.
“Sharing of climate crisis stories has remained a key function of the mass media, at least in the eyes of the climate change advocates. This is what informed PACJA to launch the ACCER Awards” says Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of PACJA says during the launch in a Nairobi hotel.
Mwenda says that the ACCER Awards has enabled African reporters to continue to demonstrate expanded understanding of the concept of what climate justice is all about.
Mwenda observes that the year 2022 is very crucial year for Africa and the media coverage of climate change must amplify the African aspirations and narratives within the larger climate discourses ahead of COP27.
“Despite climate change being a ubiquitous news story of the media, for African media however, climate justice is the ‘real big story,” he says.
Mithika adds that Africa is preparing to host COP27 with some very contentious yet very critical issues still pending.
He however notes that Africa will still clamour for recognition as a ‘special needs and circumstances region’ based on the compelling Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, demand for enhanced ambition to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, a commitment to loss and damage and additional climate finance.
Augustine Ndjamnshi, the Chair of Technical and Political Affairs at PACJA observes that Africa’s future will literally be in the hands of negotiators at COP 27.
He says that Africa must not lose this opportunity to unlock key negotiation items that have derailed substantive response to climate crisis and particularly on climate finance, especially in reference to loss and damage.
The award is aimed at driving and shaping the African narratives that ultimately influence the 27th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change set to be held in Egypt in November 2022.
Journalists are free to submit two stories that they did as from August 1, 2021 to May 10, 2022, while the submission deadline is May 18, 2022.
First launched in 2013, the ACCER Awards has continued to gain interests among a growing number of participating journalists.