Africa Climate Week ends with calls for investments to combat climate change
The five-day Africa Climate Week ended in Accra on Friday with participants calling for increased investments and enabling environment for the implementation of climate action plans in Africa.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the conference held on the theme:” Climate Action in Africa: A Race We Can Win” the participants who were drawn from both public and private sectors called for climate ambitions to commensurate with the 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature goal set at the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.
Other proposals made by the participants include the need for climate plans to be aligned with development plans, mitigation and adaptation actions needed to be embedded in national development strategies and data on climate change actions should be made consistent, reliable and comparable to help identify opportunities and also plan, finance and implement actions at all levels-national, sub-national, local and across sectors.
On the energy front, they underlined the need for energy policymakers to align climate and development plans in the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and African nations to double their efforts in the utilisation of renewable energy, accelerating energy solutions through development of mini-grids and all-grids, micro-hydro and geo-thermal technologies and usage of clean cooking stoves.
They called for de-risk finance and tailor financial instruments such as green and climate-themed bonds, special purpose bonds and crowd-funding towards combating the effects of climate change.
On the nature-based solutions, they underscored the need for increased political discussion and ensure the involvement of the highest level of government and private sector, maximisation of revenue generation opportunities and direct funding to local communities, which should be reflected in the local governance development planning.
They called for scaling up of best practices that would promote sustainable management of the ecosystem, including reforestation to shore-up resilience of the environment against climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, a Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for 2019 Climate Action Summit, in his closing remarks, reiterated the need for the world to concentrate on committing resources, implement actions and tangible projects to deal with climate change, instead of reading speeches, giving well wishes and declarations.
“There is no time for speeches, negotiations and declarations but time for actionable programmes and I’m certain the United Nations can count on African governments to push the climate action agenda,” he said.
He called for collective efforts by all to tackle the impact of climate change by increasing public awareness on climate change, recognize specific needs of each continent, ensure sustainable use of natural resources and advance financial resources towards combating the menace.
The United Nations Climate Action Summit is slated for September 23, in New York, USA.
The Africa Climate Week, which started on Monday, March 18, 2019, brought together more than 1,000 participants from both public and private sectors to firm up actions for securing international financing to complement developing nations’ efforts at combating debilitating effects of climate change.