African countries must work closer together when implementing national climate action plans under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
A statement issued by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra said African countries should also mobilise climate finance to integrate climate action into sustainable development planning.
The statement highlighted key conclusions of ministers and delegates who convened for the Africa Carbon Forum (ACF) which ended in Cotonou, Benin on June 30, 2017.
According to the statement, over 600 practitioners, experts and policy makers, including ministers from governments across Africa and other high level participants, met in Cotonou to take stock and align strategies on how financial resources should be mobilised to ensure sustainable development and emissions reduction on a continent-wide scale.
Senior Minister in charge of Planning and Development of Benin, Abdoulaye Bio Tchane, said “Africa is the continent most affected by climate change. Two thirds of Africans make their living off the land, consequently, it is critical that the continent secures a climate-resilient economic and development path.
“Hosting this forum on the topic; collaborative climate actions for sustainable development demonstrate Benin’s own commitment to the national climate action plans and the broader concern of Africa to promote collective actions for the climate,”
It noted that with ambitious commitments already made by countries under the Paris Agreement, and with more commitments expected, African ministers and other leaders stressed the importance of building momentum that will enable the transformational shift towards low carbon and greater resilience to climate change.
They also highlighted the need for new partnerships to develop and further spur sustainable development.
Speaking to delegates in Cotonou, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa, said: “Africa will see explosive growth through to the middle of the century, adding, not only that – Africa is one of the most important engines for growth worldwide in the coming years. African people are at the core of this growth. “
But the growth needs to be shaped on the basis of related climate and sustainable development criteria. Africa’s nationally determined contributions to the agreement are blueprints for attracting private sector investment and pushing forward.
Implementation of the Paris Agreement is the foundation for stability, for security and prosperity as the population grows to 9 billion people or more by 2050. It is food and water and energy for everyone. It is good jobs. It is the foundation for building sustainable, resilient communities powered by clean, renewable energy.”
Moving forward, the ACF is developing into the regional climate action event supporting, in conjunction with Global Climate Action events, non-government (“non-party”) stakeholder action in the run-up to the annual UNFCCC Conference of the Parties.