The ability of African countries to deliver on, and increase, their Nationally Determined Contributions depends on adequate investment, according to participants attending Africa Climate Week, which took place in Accra, Ghana from 18 to 22 March.
Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, said: “One major issue of concern to us is the need to streamline access to international climate finance to complement national funding. I believe this forum will throw more light on practical ways to mobilise financial resources to support the implementation of national climate actions.”
With more than 3,000 delegates and 80 side events, Africa Climate Week provided a critical opportunity to build momentum for raising the level of ambition on the part of African countries to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and to limit climate change.
Organized by UN Climate Change, World Bank, UN Environment, UN Development, among many others, the five-day event focused on cities and local action, energy transition, and nature-based solutions as participants affirmed the need to foster cooperation globally to meet the 1.5C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.
At the summary event, speakers emphasized the need for climate plans to be aligned with development plans. These included a call for embedding mitigation and adaptation actions in national development strategies, making data on climate change actions consistent, reliable and comparable, and planning and implementing actions at all levels across sectors.
Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, said the outcomes from the Accra event will be inputs into the Summit, which will deliver a concrete list of actions.
“African leaders from government, the private sector and civil society, have shown here at Africa Climate Week that they clearly see the need — and opportunity — for accelerated action on climate change. While Africa is the among the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change, it also holds the key to many of the solutions. Scaling up and speeding up implementation is in Africa’s, and all of our, interest,” he said.
Serving as a stepping stone in the lead-up to the Climate Action Summit in New York, Africa Climate Week aimed to help spur countries to revisit their NDCs by 2020 and to ensure genuine buy-in from all actors for the high-level gathering in September.
“I invite all interest groups in Africa to bring concrete proposals and actions to the Climate Summit in New York. Implementation is our priority,” Mr. de Alba stressed.
Africa Climate Week in Accra was the first ‘Regional Climate Week’ hosted this year. It will be followed by the Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific Climate Weeks later in 2019.