Climate Change (195)


NAIROBI, Kenya - The Africa Climate Week 2023 (ACW) is set to convene policymakers, practitioners, business leaders, and civil society representatives from September 4 to 8, 2023, in Nairobi. This event runs in parallel with the Africa Climate Summit scheduled for September 4-6, both hosted by the Government of Kenya. As the world grapples with the urgent challenges of climate change, ACW aims to address this pressing crisis through cooperation and forward-thinking initiatives, fostering transformative change.

ACW also plays a pivotal role in building momentum towards the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) later this year. COP28 represents a milestone as it concludes the inaugural Global Stocktake, offering an opportunity to critically assess the world's progress on climate action. The objective is to chart a course forward, emphasizing increased ambition and action to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Key priorities in the UAE include scaling up climate finance, enhancing adaptation support, and operationalizing the fund for loss and damage.

"In the face of the profound challenges posed by climate change in Africa, we stand unwavering in our commitment to confront this existential threat to all of humanity," declared President William Ruto of Kenya. "Africa’s abundance of wind and solar energy can power our development, creating jobs, protecting local economies, and accelerating the sustainable industrialization of the continent. But for us to lead the way toward a sustainable and prosperous future for our continent and the world, finance and technology must be provided to our developing countries. As we come together at the Africa Climate Summit and the Africa Climate Week, we aim to weave a single, resounding African voice that will carry the outcomes of these crucial events to COP28 and beyond."

Despite Africa's per capita emissions being significantly lower than the global average, the continent bears a disproportionate burden of rising global temperatures and escalating climate consequences. Drought, desertification, and cyclones, among other issues, are causing food shortages, displacement, and migration.

Simultaneously, Africa boasts abundant resources such as renewable energy, minerals, agriculture, and natural capital, positioning it to lead its green growth.

"Africa accounts for just four percent of global emissions. Yet it suffers some of the worst effects of rising global temperatures: The people of Africa — and people everywhere — need action to respond to deadly climate extremes. I’m convinced that Africa can be at the heart of a renewable future. Now is the time for all countries to stand as one in defense of our only home," emphasized UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

African nations have the potential to become pioneers in renewable energy, sustainable land use, and innovative technologies. This entails attracting investment, facilitating technology transfer, and establishing themselves as leaders in the global transition to green development.

Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, articulated, "The world is asking a lot: Develop, but don’t do it in the carbon-intensive way that we did. It is a global responsibility to collectively work out how we do that. And that’s exactly what we’re here to do. So that African nations can come to COP28 leading in action and ambition. The discussions taking place here will inform the global stocktake about the challenges, barriers, solutions, and opportunities for climate action and support within the context of Africa. The UNFCCC Secretariat can work with you to identify the solutions to attain those opportunities."

Africa Climate Week presents a timely opportunity ahead of COP28 for regional stakeholders to exchange experiences regarding challenges overcome and opportunities realized in different countries. This showcases how Africa's industrial growth can align with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, driving economic progress while mitigating environmental impacts.

"Africa Climate Week must be the place where we accelerate climate action across the African continent and finance a just transition to a climate-resilient future – a transition that empowers Africa to take control of its own destiny and become a green leader and economic powerhouse," asserted Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.

Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UN Development Programme, stressed the importance of addressing climate change, saying, "Climate change is reshaping economies and impacting lives and livelihoods. The Africa Climate Week will show the implications of climate change for Africa, but also the solutions emerging from across the continent. Enhanced collaboration can drive progress by integrating climate considerations into economic and development planning, ensuring inclusive, sustainable growth through low-emissions pathways."

While opportunities for cooperation across African borders, sectors, and disciplines are abundant, effective climate action requires active engagement from all sectors. Governments and multilateral institutions hold central roles, yet civil society, academia, local communities, and the private sector are crucial contributors as well.

"The Africa climate story is about solutions for sustainable growth, and about innovation and opportunities to bring people out of poverty," highlighted Axel van Trotsenburg, Senior Managing Director of the World Bank. "Clean energy is key to this story. It lifts underserved communities; powers businesses, schools, and hospitals; and creates jobs for young Africans. There is much to be done to get financing flowing and help countries leapfrog to low-carbon and clean energy opportunities. Africa is part of the new climate economy in action."

ACW is poised to amplify the voices of African Parties, bringing their collective voice to the negotiation table at COP28 and pushing for positive outcomes that drive meaningful shifts on both regional and global scales.

ACW is the first of four Regional Climate Weeks in 2023. These events provide a platform for governments, businesses, practitioners, and civil society to showcase ongoing projects, policies, and practices that are already effecting positive change, inspiring others to follow suit.

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Ahead of the inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) to be co-hosted by Kenya and the African Union Commission (AUC) in Nairobi from 4-6 September 2023, the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) Lead Coordinators are meeting in Nairobi to deliberate on key issues in relation to Africa’s interests and expectations for COP28.

The ACS, which will be held under the theme: “Green Growth and Climate finance for Africa and the World”, is envisaged to ensure Africa’s voice is elevated globally and integrated into existing international fora such as United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), G7/G20 processes and COP 28 among others.

The Summit will be held concurrently with the Africa Climate Week (4 - 8 September 2023), an annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) led event to promote actions that allow to course-correct and achieve the Paris Agreement goals and objectives.

The meeting is expected to bring together leaders from Africa and beyond; development partners; intergovernmental organisations; private sector; academia; civil society organisations; women and youth to design and catalyse actions and solutions for climate change in Africa by providing a platform to deliberate on the nexus between climate change, Africa’s development reality, and the need to push for increased investment in climate action globally, and specifically in Africa.

In addition to the African common position on the various climate thematic negotiating streams, AGN Lead Coordinators are also deliberating on the Nairobi Declaration, a key outcome document expected at the end of the summit.

Speaking during the opening session of the meeting, AGN Chair, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima urged the Lead Coordinators to continue playing their “critical role as technical advisors to policy makers on Africa’s effective participation in the global climate negotiations in relation to the continent’s development realities and aspirations.”

And gracing the occasion, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office Director for Africa, Rose Mwebaza appreciated the AGN’s role over the years, to Africa’s effective participation in the climate processes and urged the group to remain focused.

“I am particularly delighted to be with you not only in my new capacity here at UNEP, heading the Africa regional office but also as one of you, having been an active participant in the climate change negotiation processes for the past 20 years,” said Mwebaza. “I believe these are exciting times as the continent prepares to host the inaugural Africa Climate Summit. As technical negotiators, I urge you to remain focused and provide the necessary guidance in relation to the continent’s development needs.”

Opportunity for Africa

Africa is believed to be the continent of the future. As the youngest and fastest urbanizing continent with a population set to double to 2.5 billion by 2050, Africa has immense potential in clean energy, arable land, critical minerals, and natural resources. While the continent is already demonstrating strong momentum in driving green growth, it is needs to capitalise on this existing momentum by (a) driving a holistic Green Growth Agenda that takes advantage of its vast resources, and (b) securing Climate Finance tailored to Africa’s needs to achieve its growth ambitions.

Africa’s renewables potential will be fifty times the global anticipated electricity demand in 2040. However, renewable energy accounts for 10% of electricity generation mix, and only 20% of the total installed electricity generation capacity in Africa.

Whereas Africa is home to 30-40% of the world's minerals - including those needed for green energy transition/batteries (e.g.,over 40% of global reserves of cobalt, manganese, and platinum), the continent has little to show for in terms of clean energy and mobility.

Similarly, while Africa has 60% of the world’s remaining uncultivated arable land, that, when sustainably exploited can help the world attain food security, the continent is a net importer of food. The summit is thus looking to address the need to change Africa’s narrative on climate change to be a growth agenda by harnessing opportunities that exist for economic transformation.

This Agenda will focus on 5 core growth thrusts; energy transition/ renewable energy; green minerals and manufacturing; sustainable agriculture, land and water/ ocean use; sustainable infrastructure and urbanization; and natural capital supported by two important cross-cutting levers (Adaptation and resilience to climate risk and Climate finance and Carbon Credits).

The outputs from the Summit will also aim to provide important input and direction to the ongoing work on global financial institution reforms to support such a growth agenda with corresponding shifts in their own pathways.



NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - As Africa prepares for the crucial climate change conference later in the year, President Hakainde Hichilema has assured his Kenyan counterpart, who is also Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), William Ruto, of Zambia’s unwavering support for Africa’s climate aspirations at COP28.

Speaking during a virtual CAHOSCC meeting on the Africa Climate Summit (ACS) that was co-hosted by President Ruto, in collaboration with His Excellency Mr. Mousa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), President Hichilema said, “Zambia, in its capacity as Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN), will continue to work closely with you in pursuit of Africa’s climate and development aspirations.”

The Africa Climate Summit is set to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 4th to 6th September 2023 while the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled for 30th November to 12th December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Writing on his Facebook page shortly after the meeting, President Hichilema congratulated President Ruto for the idea to host the Africa Climate Summit and assured him of Zambia’s support in achieving the summit's intended objectives.

President Hichilema emphasized the importance for Africa to clearly and specifically identify areas that need resolution in order to ensure a unified approach towards making a meaningful impact on the challenges posed by climate change.

The Zambian President further encouraged unity of purpose and speaking with one voice saying, “Africa should maintain coordination, consistency and rationality throughout the climate change debate and avoid polarisation.”

Some recent report statistics on climate ambition show that Africa is already sacrificing a lot of its resources towards the fight against climate change as captured in African countries’ highly ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

This is despite the continent’s both historic and current negligible contribution to climate causing emissions.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provides the best available science, Africa is the least contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions with less than 4% of global emissions and yet the most adversely impacted region.

Despite this well noted imbalance, statistics show that Africa is demonstrating its commitment to combating climate change, through the submission of highly ambitious NDCs and spending up to 9% of their GDPs in addressing climate change.

However, the full ambition of African countries’ NDCs cannot be realised without support from the international community, hence the call for the global north to continue taking the lead in the climate action agenda by not only cutting their emissions but also supporting developing countries with finances and other means of implementation as espoused in the Paris Agreement.

In highlighting the importance of financial support from the global north, President Hichilema also used the meeting to highlight and acknowledge the continent's strong momentum in pursuing the green investment agenda as well as noting the importance of private sector investments.

He cited Zambia’s collaboration with the Democratic Republic of Congo which have prioritised electric vehicle and batter value chain.

“As an example, Zambia is collaborating with the Democratic Republic of the Congo to prioritize the electric vehicle and battery value chain. To promote industrialization, combat high poverty levels, and achieve resilient socio-economic development, Africa must mobilize private sector investment. Private sector involvement is a critical tool for implementing the continent's transition towards a low-carbon development pathway,” said President Hichilema.



NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Global forestry experts sitting in Nairobi for a week long workshop have termed climate change as one of the major environmental challenges Africa is facing at the moment, and this calls for innovative solutions to tackle.
According to Dr Joshua Cheboiwo,   Chief Research Officer, Director at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), there is growing evidence that climate change is impacting on forests and forest ecosystems in Africa, and therefore on the livelihoods of forest dependent communities as well as on national economic activities that depend on forest and tree products and services. 
"There is thus need for innovative solutions for climate and ecosystem smart forest management" Dr Cheboiwo said at a regional workshop organised by African Forest Forum (AFF).
Cheboiwo was speaking at a workshop taking place in Nairobi-Kenya under the theme 'Forest and Tree-based ecosystems services for socio-ecological resilence to climate change in Africa'
Experts at the workshop emphasised on the role of ecosystem services, as a concrete, innovative, sustainable solution that can strengthen Africa’s climate efforts.
 ecosystem services procedure and the supporting business model to enable its effective roll out as a market-based instrument. He described ecosystem services as benefits that people obtain from nature as he presented the solution to the event’s audience.
He highlighted that forests have many positive effects on society, such as stable clean water supplies, productive soil, and carbon sequestration.
According to AFF executive secretary , Professor Godwin Kowero, the population of Africa expected to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050 and a projected demand for industrial wood  estimated to grow from about 75 million m3/per year in 2020  to 250 million m3 per year by 2030 . Consequently  the strain on the African forests and trees outside forests has to be carefully managed, especially in the context of increasing deforestation and forest degradation on the continent  that are increasingly been made worse by adverse effects of climate change. 
"These resources consist of a myriad of different tree species, good for timber and other building materials, as well as abundance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs), thus offering the resources the capacity to serve the people on the continent with many products to meet their many and varied demands " Prof Kowero said .
"One good way such demands could be met is largely through adding value on the resources through processing. This forward linkage to primary forest production is critical to Africa’s development, and especially so when the population is rising rapidly, urbanization is accelerating very rapidly," he added .
 According to experts , ecosystem services   demonstrate, and promote the beneficial effects of responsible forest management practices.
"There is need to increase commercial value for people that sustainably manage forests and take steps to conserve forest ecosystem," says Ben Chikamai, Executive Secretary at Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa ,NGARA, Kenya .
Experts from different countries presented the business case for ecosystem services in some African countries illustrating how  the innovation has been used to restore the capacity of watersheds, transformation on nontimber forest products, processing of timber through investments in sawmills and sawn wood etc .
 Ecosystems services experts are potentially beneficial to forest actors if sustainably managed. "Without ecosystem services, there is no water" said Dalington Duwa.
 He said mounting data evidence and practical ground experience demonstrate that certified forest concessions are essential sanctuaries for biodiversity and ecosystem services ,adding that the management of forests in Africa calls for a new economic paradigm.
The shifts in rainfall patterns and temperature changes can result into increased water scarcity and severe prolonged droughts that in turn directly affect agricultural production, food and nutritional security, as well as markets and trade potential of forest dependent population.
In this regard, climate change and variability continue to create serious challenges to the sustainability of biophysical and socio-economic systems on the continent, according to AFF .
 The continued erosion of such systems is slowing down socio-economic development and jeopardizing the environmental stability of most of the African countries, especially in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa Agenda 2063, among other national and regional development aspirations .
According to Professor Kowero, "Africa shall be a continent where the free movement of people, capital, goods and services will result in significant increases in trade and investments amongst African countries rising to unprecedented levels, and strengthen Africa’s place in global trade"
Given these developments, the potential for the forestry sector to contribute to the aspirations of both Agenda 2063 and AfCFTA, needs to be addressed, especially given the already noted considerable exchanges of forest products among African countries, albeit most of them being traded informally.
This scenario he adds, compels the African continent to undertake a serious introspection of its forestry sector, possibly guided by questions like, how to meet the wood products needs of its growing population, how not to continue relying on imports for the ever-increasing demand for wood products.
"The intention is to change Africa into a relatively wood products self-sufficient continent, thus saving considerable foreign currency spent on importing similar products; savings that can be spent on other important domestic needs without recourse to expensive international capital markets," said Professor Kowero.
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