Africa forum seeks innovative ways to build climate resilience
The 7th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa, CCDA – VII, kicked off in Nairobi Kenya on Wednesday attracting over 700 delegates with institutions pledging to continue working together to make Africa’s development sustainable, inclusive and climate-resilient.
Discussions included sessions towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions, Climate Change Act and Policy, climate finance, and partnerships among others.
Speakers from the pan-African institutions said they will continue to work with member States, partners and stakeholders in their efforts to influence, strengthen and enable the transition to climate-resilient development in Africa through responsive policies, plans and programmes focusing on building transformed economies and healthy ecosystems on the continent.
Mr. Mithika Mwenda, the Secretary General of the PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), said civil society organizations were seeking collaboration with governments on the continent and stood ready to offer support as Africa seeks homegrown ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.
He warned that the rise of ‘the inward-looking nationalist right-wing movement and climate deniers’ in the West was a signal of hardening positions in potential inaction by those largely responsible for the world’s climate problems.
“Our leaders who hold the key for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement should remain candidly focused and resist attempts to scatter the unified African voice to deny Africa a strong bargain in the design of the Paris rulebook,” said Mr. Mwenda.
Nassirou Ba, Economic Affairs Officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa added. “Member States have to take seriously the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as not meeting the 1.5C will exacerbate food insecurity on the continent in a period where we are experiencing a massive increase in our population triggering more demand for food.”
The Coordinator of the African Climate Policy Center of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ACPC/ECA), James Murombedzi warned of an imminent "climate catastrophe" following the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Mr. Murombedzi warned about Africa's "climate catastrophe", if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse emissions, "as he delivered his speech at the conference.
Hundreds of delegates in attendance who included policymakers, scholars and grassroots campaigners agreed that Africa must focus on home-grown initiatives to boost climate financing as support from traditional donors slump.
African countries should strengthen public private partnership to boost financing in climate resilience projects that accelerate low carbon growth while generating new jobs for the youthful population.
James Kinyangi, the chief climate policy officer at African Development Bank (AfDB), said that policy and regulatory incentives are key to encourage indigenous firms invest in green projects.
"Governments should encourage listed firms to invest in projects that promise a green and sustainable future for everyone," said Kinyangi adding that a stable macro-economic environment is key to sustain climate financing in Africa.
The representative of the AUC’s Rural Economy and Agriculture Commissioner, Ms. Olushola Olayide, said that the AUC was working with its partners to enhance the application of climate information services for building resilience on the continent.
“The main aim is to strengthen the knowledge framework and foster partnerships between government institutions, the private sector, civil society and vulnerable communities for climate informed decisions,” she said.
Pan-African lobby groups have rallied behind community-led interventions that have proved effective in minimizing harm to livelihoods and ecosystems as a result of climatic shocks.