First-Ever Africa Climate Week Provides Regional Input to Talanoa Dialogue
Photo by Neil Palmer (CIAT)
story highlights

Africa Climate Week aimed to capture regional concerns to motivate climate action on the ground in such sectors as energy, agriculture and human settlements.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa called on Africa to implement integrated policies that align with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.

During the Africa Carbon Forum, speakers called for a “new and robust” mechanism to help African countries meet emissions targets, and emphasized the “unique capacity” of Africa to innovate.

16 April 2018: The first-ever Africa Climate Week (ACW2018) convened to address climate issues in the regional context, support implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the SDGs, and provide input to the formal negotiations under the UNFCCC, through the Talanoa Dialogue. ACW2018 convened from 9-13 April 2018, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Meetings, workshops, and networking of private and public sector actors and high-level policymakers aimed to capture regional concerns to motivate climate action on the ground in such sectors as energy, agriculture and human settlements. ACW2018 included the 10th Africa Carbon Forum, high-level sessions with the Champions of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, a high-level ministerial session, an Africa Talanoa Dialogue, a Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) workshop, a Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) workshop, a regional Technical Expert Meeting (TEM) on industrial energy efficiency, an NDC Partnership Workshop and an emissions trading system simulation. These events addressed, inter alia: current trends in international carbon markets; green finance and project opportunities in the energy, forest and infrastructure sectors; innovative technologies to promote sustainable development and climate action; and challenges and opportunities related to NDC implementation.

The UN-Habitat Executive Director called for new market-based mechanisms to help African countries meet and exceed emission reduction targets.

Addressing participants, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said that ACW helps shine a light on the threats that climate change poses to the region’s development gains, and highlights the opportunities that cooperation and investment in ambitious climate action can provide. She called on Africa to implement integrated policies that align with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs. [UNFCCC News Story] [UNFCCC Press Release Announcing ACW2018] [ACW2018 Website]

One of the week’s main events, the Africa Carbon Forum (ACF), met from 10-11 April. It focused on market-based approaches, economic instruments and finance to drive investment in climate action. Speakers called for a “new and robust” mechanism to help African countries meet emission reduction targets and emphasized the “unique capacity” of Africa to innovate.

In her address, UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif discussed the role of local governments in helping national governments achieve their climate targets, and provided examples of city-level technologies and approaches, such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and waste-to-energy plants. She called for new market-based mechanisms to help African countries meet their current, and set more ambitious, emission reduction targets, as well as for establishing new, or scaling up existing, city- and subnational-level carbon pricing schemes. Sharif urged countries to consider how to engage local governments to help implement their NDCs. Sharif highlighted UN-Habitat’s support for African countries in: integrating human settlements into national adaptation plans (NAPs); mainstreaming climate change into planning policies at all levels; and applying for Adaptation Fund resources to increase the climate resilience of human settlements. [10th Africa Carbon Forum Website] [UN-Habitat Press Release on Africa Carbon Forum]

The week also included an Africa Talanoa Dialogue, on 13 April, which garnered inputs that will be further considered by the broader Talanoa Dialogue process under the UNFCCC. Sharif emphasized the importance of communication and the media’s role, and the need for gender-responsive participatory planning in cities. She praised the Africa Talanoa Dialogue as a great start towards advancing NDC implementation in the region, and called on cities to hold local-level dialogues to engage communities. [UN-Habitat Press Release on Africa Talanoa Dialogue]

UN-Habitat is a partner of the ‘Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues,’ coordinated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, which aim to facilitate the integration of local governments into national climate efforts by providing a platform for local governments to contribute ideas and recommendations for climate action. [Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues]

ACF2018 was hosted and supported by the Government of Kenya, and organized by the Nairobi Framework Partnership and Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority. The Nairobi Framework Partnership, which brings together stakeholders to address climate change with a focus on market-based mechanisms, began broadening its regional carbon forums in 2017 to create Climate Weeks to strengthen and support NDC implementation. [Nairobi Framework Partnership]


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