Africa Climate Chance Summit Calls for Bottom-up Approach for Valuing Climate Actions
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The action-oriented Summit aimed to: mobilize non-state actors to accelerate the implementation of national climate commitments; enhance the coordination of non-state actors who are still working in isolation; and promote dialogue between international and local organizations to strengthen links between climate actions at local and higher levels.

Taking place in conjunction with the annual conference of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Summit provided a platform for 200 African municipalities from 36 countries to develop a joint agenda ahead of the UCLG World Summit in Durban, South Africa.

The Summit Declaration calls for, among other actions, a bottom-up approach to the revision of Nationally Determined Contributions, starting with the elaboration of “locally determined contributions”.

Participants at the 2019 Africa Climate Chance Summit issued a call for re-evaluating national climate commitments through improved tools for assessing “locally determined contributions.” Taking place in conjunction with the annual conference of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoMSSA), the Summit provided a platform for unveiling initiatives to support local climate action by subnational governments and non-state actors.

The 2019 Africa Climate Chance Summit, organized by the Climate Chance Association and the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), took place in Accra, Ghana, from 16-18 October 2019. The action-oriented event aimed to: mobilize non-state actors to accelerate the implementation of national climate commitments; enhance the coordination of non-state actors who are still working in isolation; and promote dialogue between international and local organizations to strengthen links between climate actions at local and higher levels.

Sessions were convened by the nine Climate Chance stakeholder coalitions addressing the themes of: access to climate finance; sustainable cities and urban development; agriculture, food and reforestation; renewable energy and energy efficiency; sustainable mobility and transport; adaptation and water; sustainable buildings and construction; education and training on climate change; and the circular economy.

Building on roadmaps initiated at the 2018 Summit, the thematic sessions identified concrete projects and resource mobilization strategies to support implementation over the coming year. Specific projects launched at the Summit include: development of a comprehensive portal on financing opportunities for climate action; coordination of all actors working on African climate data; creation of a network of local authorities and actors promoting sustainable housing; and the identification and dissemination of good practices on water and adaptation as part of preparations for the World Water Forum in Dakar in 2021.

Other initiatives announced at the Summit include the launch of the ‘Electrifying Rural Africa’ report, with accompanying funding for 13 pilot cities as part of the CoMSSA network. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, unveiled two public-private financial mechanisms to complement the government’s efforts to tackle climate change: a USD 100 million SDG Delivery Fund; and a USD 200 million Green Fund.

Taking place prior to the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) World Congress and World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, the CoMSSA 2019 conference enabled representatives of over 200 African municipalities from 36 countries to develop a joint agenda ahead of the World Summit. Commitments announced at the regional conference took shape at the Durban Summit, with the launch of the International Municipal Investment Fund (IMIF) as a dedicated mechanism for funding local action on climate and the SDGs. African stakeholders also announced that the region will host the first-ever General Assembly for young mayors and local government leaders during the 2021 Africities Summit in Kisumu, Kenya.

The African Climate Chance Summit issued a ten-point declaration calling for, among other actions:

  • Ensuring a balance in funding between climate actions addressing mitigation and adaptation, and prioritizing clean energy sources such as solar and wind in strategies aimed at bridging the energy gap in Africa;
  • Providing an enabling environment for local and regional governments and non-state actors to create the conditions for enhanced local climate actions and the localization of climate finance;
  • Increasing the number of African local governments participating in the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement effective actions on energy access and local climate action plans; and
  • Initiating a bottom-up approach to the revision of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), starting with the elaboration of “locally determined contributions” (LDCs) to feed into NDCs. The Declaration calls for this approach to be disseminated through national associations of local and regional governments and UCLG Africa to enhance ownership as well as alignment of climate actions.

The Declaration further calls for strengthening links with a range of funding organizations, development agencies and international networks to direct resources towards local climate action. It notes, in particular, the role of the UCLG Africa chapter in building the capacity of African cities and sub-national governments to prepare and submit eligible projects to climate finance institutions.

The African Climate Chance Summit was launched in 2018 as an annual gathering of African non-state actors and subnational governments, including local authorities, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), trade unions, scientists, representatives from agricultural, youth, women and indigenous organizations, and individual citizens. The 2019 Summit continued the development of sectoral and operational roadmaps discussed at the inaugural Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in June 2018.

CoMSSA provides a platform for African local governments to exchange knowledge on climate-resilient urban development and to enhance implementation of sustainable climate and energy actions. The 2019 conference addressed the themes of finance, adaptation, mitigation and access to energy. [Africa Climate Chance Conference Website] [Declaration Issued at Conclusion of Summit] [UNESCO Press Release on Climate-Water Linkages Side Event]


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