African Climate Talks Contribute to Talanoa Dialogue
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
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In a keynote address, Lumumba Di-Aping, South Sudan, called for an African Climate Science Working Group and an AU Commissioner for Climate Change.

James Murombedzi, ACPC, said the talks sought to reflect on the “global dynamics of climate governance” and their implications for Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Speakers questioned whether the Paris Agreement on climate change is an adequate framework to address the “climate crisis”.

23 March 2018: Africa should focus more on “building internal solutions” to its problems rather than rely on international partners in addressing its climate challenges, according to participants at the the second African Climate Talks (ACT!-II), which aimed to facilitate Africa’s contribution to the Talanoa Dialogue under the UNFCCC.

Organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), in collaboration with Addis Ababa University, ACT!-II convened under the theme, ‘Market policy versus market mechanisms in the implementation of the Paris Agreement,’ from 22-23 March 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Participants discussed, among other things, climate governance, Africa’s participation in global climate negotiations and the need to change how the continent addresses climate change.

More specifically, the talks, addressed, inter alia: implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Africa; the need to identify alternative pathways to resolve climate and development crises facing the continent; and whether the Paris Agreement on climate change is an adequate framework to address the “climate crisis.” The talks also considered: transboundary cooperation; negotiating more forcefully for Africa’s best interests in the UNFCCC process; placing greater emphasis on agriculture in NDCs; the need for hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in infrastructure; and the importance of climate proofing investments.

James Murombedzi, ACPC, called for investment in science and research, and building capacity in climate information services.

In a keynote address, Lumumba Di-Aping, former Chair of the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), South Sudan, said the Paris Agreement is “fundamentally flawed and inadequate,” and called for its “reinvention” to be “consistent with science and Africa’s survival, and in solidarity with the global south and global poor.” He called for: stronger climate institutions in Africa; a “technology and infrastructure Marshall Plan” to achieve Africa’s development goals; making access to resources, including fossil fuels, conditional on climate action and climate funding; an “African Climate Science Working Group – an African IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] led by and for Africans”; and an African Union (AU) Commissioner for Climate Change.

James Murombedzi, ACPC, said the talks sought to reflect on the “global dynamics of climate governance” and their implications for Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He urged strengthening national capacities by investing in science and research, raising public awareness so that all of society can help shape policy, and building capacity in climate information services (CIS) so they can be analyzed and integrated into policies.

Participants also called for, inter alia: the African Development Bank (AfDB) to review its rules to ensure a less cumbersome process for accessing funds; integration of African indigenous knowledge systems into national climate plans and early warning systems; greater inclusion of youth in decision making; developing tools to assess Africa’s collective progress in achieving the 1.5°C temperature goal; and all African countries to join the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI), which focuses on loss and damage and strengthening national implementing agencies for adaptation.

ACT!-II follows the inaugural ACT! event, which convened in September 2015 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. ACT! is an initiative of ClimDev-Africa, a partnership between the AU Commission (AUC), AfDB and UNECA. [UNECA Press Release on Contribution to the Talanoa Dialogue] [UNECA News Story on Combating Climate Change] [UNECA Press Release on Statement of Ambassador Di-Aping] [UNECA Press Release at Conclusion of Talks] [Conference Website] [ACPC Website] [Concept Note]


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