Starting today, over 2,500 delegates are gathering in Accra, Ghana, for Africa Climate Week. Ministers, policymakers, and non-Party stakeholders — from businesses to NGOs and from financial institutions to cities and academia — will discuss ways to advance climate action.
The Africa Climate Week starts with the Africa NDC Dialogue (18-19 March) that will analyze the outcomes of COP24 and discuss the implementation of national climate plans, known as “Nationally Determined Contributions” or “NDCs”. The discussion will focus on the existing gap between the current climate action pledges of governments and the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal of limiting the global average temperature rise to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Delegates will discuss ways of raising national, regional, and global ambition towards achieving that goal.
The Africa Climate Week (ACW) is the first major stepping stone of this critical year in the global efforts to increase climate ambition. 2019 marks the launch of a new round of NDCs that countries are expected to submit to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 2020 with the overarching objective of the world collectively achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In this regard, the outcomes of Africa Climate Week will be a key contribution to the Climate Action Summitthat United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is hosting this September, the objective of which is to help raise climate ambition from governments and non-State actors.
A central moment of Africa Climate Week will be Wednesday 20 March when the high-level segment will take place with the presence of the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo; UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary, Ovais Sarmad; Ghanaian actress and television personality, Joselyn Dumas; and COP24 President Michał Kurtyka.
In parallel to the central programme of events, climate actors from around the region will showcase groundbreaking solutions to climate change at the Pitch Hub and Knowledge Corner, located in the heart of the International Convention Center.
Africa at the centre of the climate agenda
From floods in the Lake Victoria basin to drought in Somalia, to environmental degradation in the Sahel region, climate change is a major threat to continued economic growth and to the livelihoods of vulnerable populations across the continent. However, while Africa is one of the lowest contributors to global emissions, it is leading the way by curbing greenhouse emissions and adapting to the inevitable climate impacts through climate action initiatives – examples of which will be displayed at the conference centre.
This was stressed last week by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General at the One Planet Summit in Nairobi. Amina J. Mohammed called for Africa to be “at the center” of the climate action agenda, and for increased finance to the region to ensure that Africa can grow its economy in a sustainable way. “We have said that Africa bears the brunt of climate change and yet it has the least contribution to it, but what today is about is to make sure that as Africa grows, we don’t end up contributing to climate change and that we have a chance to grow green and not to grow brown”, she said.
The Africa Climate Week is being co-convened by the UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change), UN Environment, the West African Development Bank, UN Development Programme, World Bank Group, African Development Bank Group, and International Renewable Energy Agency, in collaboration with Climate Technology Centre & Network, UN Food and Agriculture, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, West African Alliance, Adaptation Fund and Climate and Clean Air Coalition. Other participating organizations include UN Global Compact, WBCSD, ICLEI, Climate Resilience Network, CDP, SLOCAT, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, UN-Habitat, Nature4Climate, ICC, Global ABC, CIFOR, UCLG Africa, CIAT-CCAFS, ECREEE, and UN Volunteers.