With Africa continuing to bear the burden and risks of catastrophic climate change-related impacts, African heads of state and governments, global leaders, development partners, civil society organisations and other high-level stakeholders will attend the United Climate Change Conference (COP28) from Thursday 30 November to discuss, among other things, Africa’s decarbonisation agenda, current challenges and opportunities.
In September this year, the African Climate Summit (ACS) in Nairobi, Kenya culminated in the Nairobi Declaration, which is also expected to be the basis for Africa’s common position in the global climate change process at COP28 and beyond. In this regard, key agenda items from the Nairobi Declaration will also feature at COP28 in Dubai. They include:
- A reassertion of the commitment to provide $100bn in annual climate finance as first promised at COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009.
- The operationalisation of the Loss & Damage Fund as agreed at COP27 in 2022, which was specifically targeted at developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts (the majority of which are African nations).
- A call for collective global action to mobilise the necessary capital for both development and climate action. (‘No country should ever have to choose between development aspirations and climate action’ – Paris Pact for People and the Planet).
- A plea to the international community to contribute towards Africa’s vision of economic transformation in harmony with its climate needs.
The Nairobi Declaration included the following climate needs as priorities for Africa:
- A commitment to increasing Africa’s renewable generation capacity from 56 GW in 2022 to at least 300 GW by 2030, both to address energy poverty and to bolster the global supply of cost-effective clean energy for industry.
- The facilitation of access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies, including technologies to support Africa’s green industrialisation and transition.
- The designing of industry policies that incentivise global investment to locations that offer the most substantial climate benefits while also ensuring benefits for local communities.
- The implementation of a mix of measures that elevate Africa’s share of carbon markets.
Given previous criticisms of the slow progress in addressing these issues, despite numerous commitments from the previous conferences, Africa will be emboldened by the relative success of the ACS to demand urgent and bold action towards climate change mitigation and adaptation at COP28.
It is hoped that the commitments and pronouncements made at the ACS will influence and impact the overall push by Africa during COP28 for the fulfilment and implementation of pledges, funding and resource sharing, especially as the adverse effects of climate change continue to be witnessed across the continent.