African leaders push for adequate financial and technical support to address climate change challenges in the lead up to COP27.
Significant increases in temperature, sea level rise, shift in weather patterns, and other extremes are already having adverse effects on human health, natural ecosystems, and other dire environmental, social and economic impacts in Africa.
The socio-economic situation is gravely exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has impacted on food security, loss of income and livelihoods and brought with it or compounded political risks. It is the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of society, such as the rural communities, the informal sector, as well as women and children, that are the most disadvantaged.
As one of the regions’ most adversely affected by the impacts of climate change, Africa has been advocating for urgent and practical global, regional and national actions and enhanced ambition to combat climate change. African countries have stepped up to the challenge of contributing to addressing the global climate challenge that respects no borders, despite contributing the least to causing this existential crisis.
The Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) convened on the 6th February 2022 in preparation for the COP27 and to deliberate on the outcomes of the Glasgow Climate Conference held in 2021 and the implications for Africa. The Heads of State and Government meeting was also a platform to receive updates from the African Group of negotiators on climate change and the African Climate Change Initiatives. Recommendations to advance Africa’s Climate Change and Green Recovery agenda, were also considered.
Outgoing CAHOSCC Coordinator H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, underscored “the need for Africa to speak in one voice and the imperative to ensure momentum and focus is not lost, and that climate change is not relegated to the periphery to the global development agenda”. He noted that “Africa is witnessing the worst impact phenomenon associated with global warming such as droughts, floods and cyclones. Climate change impact is costing African economies between 3% – 5% of their GDP”. He asserted that a one-size-fits-all approach to complex issues such as a transition from fossil fuels that disregards the realties in Africa are not practical or equitable. “Developed economy countries have agreed to support the implementation of Just Transitions that promote sustainable development, poverty eradication, and the creation of decent work and quality jobs. Much more work needs to be done for Africa and the world to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. It is still of concern that the necessary financial flows to enable developing economy countries in particular to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change remain vastly inadequate. Africa’s Special Needs and Circumstances need to be recognized globally because of our natural resource based economies, and owing to high levels of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. Such a decision will unlock the necessary financial flows to our continent as we embark on Just Transitions towards a low-carbon future.”, he added.
On his part, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission reiterated the urgent need to address climate change challenges to contribute to the attainment of the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals. He stated, “Africa is engaging itself in domesticating the Paris Agreement which sets an ambitious target by agreeing to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. It is truly gratifying to note that all African countries submitted ambitious targets under their NDCs. I believe that with adequate financial and technical support, member States will be on track to fulfil their commitments and obligations under the Paris agreement.”
The Chairperson, while congratulating Egypt on its new role as the Incoming President of the Conference of the Parties (COP), reaffirmed the commitment of the AU Commission to continue to support Member States, engage with relevant stakeholders towards a successful CoP27, and a climate-resilient continent to ensure that Africa’s special needs are prioritized at the COP27 scheduled to be hosted in Egypt in 2022.
H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya takes over as the Incoming Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). H.E. Kenyatta highlighted the need to focus on drumming up support for Africa’s priority areas in CoP 27 including Climate Finance, loss and damage, Global Goal on Adaptation, keeping 1.5 degrees C alive and recognition of the Special needs and circumstances for Africa. He reiterated Kenya’s efforts to shift to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and commitment to achieve 100% access to clean cooking by 2028. He further highlighted the importance of halting and reversing degradation of ecosystems and protecting carbon sinks and recommended that countries to analyse the economic policy implications for COP26 and the Paris Agreement to guide the required policy transformation. The President called for a Climate Summit in Egypt ahead of CoP27 to ensure that Africa stands united and Speaks with One voice.
Watch the meeting proceeding here