Think Tank highlights Africa’s six priority areas at COP28

By Ndi Eugene Ndi

The world’s attention will be turned to Dubai when the 28th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (COP28), opens later this month.

A week to the Climate Summit, Nairobi-based energy and climate Think Tank, Power Shift Africa has released a report urging world leaders to address the unique challenges of the current climate emergency on the continent.

The report dubbed “The Africa’s Agenda for COP28” examines six critical areas where priority should be given to during the discussions in Dubai to combat the escalating climate crisis.

Africa faces the most severe impact of climate change than any other continent, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The continent has been substantially impacted by natural disasters which are set to increase in severity and frequency.

“Africa is on the front line of the climate crisis and many of the impacts afflict us all, whilst the solutions are common across the continent,” said Mohamed Adow, Founder and Executive Director, Power Shift Africa.

Environmentally friendly trees planted at the Minawao refugee camp in Far North region of Cameroon to fight against the impacts of climate change. Africa faces the most severe impact of climate change than any other continent

With 2023 poised to be the hottest year ever recorded, the UN Secretary-General declared that this year marks the end of global warming and the onset of global boiling.

The Think Tank notes that even the most polluting nations are not immune to the climate crisis, citing the examples of the recent floods in New York and Dubai. This, the Think Tank says should serve as a stark reminder that mere words and pledges won’t thwart the destructive power of the climate crisis.

The priority areas

Top among the six areas of focus highlighted in the report is the finalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund. It advocates for a robust financial and technical institutional arrangements saying the Fund is a lifeline for vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by climate-induced disasters. The report calls for the swift establishment of the fund which it terms as critical for providing timely and effective support for recovery and adaptation.

Ongoing disputes over Loss and Damage funding, governance, and eligibility continue to add a layer of uncertainty to the outcomes of COP28.

“The agreement of a Loss and Damage Fund at last year’s meeting in Egypt was a great example of what can be achieved when global south cooperation is robust.  We need to see that momentum continue in Dubai,” said Adow.

The report also calls for a well-defined mandate for the Just Transition Work Programme and underscores the necessity for prioritising low-risk concessional loans and grants over high-risk ones that risk countries falling into greater debt.

Regarding finance, the report insists on clear commitments and tangible progress in climate finance negotiations. It staunchly advocates for the fulfillment of the long-overdue $100 billion pledge by developed countries.

“African nations, united by a collaborative spirit, must break free from development constraints worsened by the climate emergency. Solidarity and decisive action are our tools to combat the climate crisis. The Africa Agenda for COP28 is our bold step towards a sustainable future,” said Dean Bhebhe, Lead Campaigner at Don’t Gas Africa.

Another critical aspect of the Africa’s Agenda for COP28 report is a thorough review of pre-2020 commitments, climate finance, and technology transfer within the framework of the Global Stocktake (GST) process. This scrutiny, it insists, must be guided by principles of equity, and is pivotal to fortify collective efforts in achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

COP28, turning point for Africa

The report underscores the need for resolute global efforts to limit temperature rise, emphasising equity, responsibility, and concrete actions. Post-COP26, where a 1.5°C limit was endorsed, the report calls for an acceleration of mitigation efforts. It cautions against undue reliance on carbon removal technologies, condemns recent reversals in climate commitments, and outlines expectations for COP28, emphasising increased reliance on renewable energy and actions grounded in equity principles.

“Africa has the potential to lead the world in renewable energy, demonstrating that clean development is achievable without exacerbating the climate crisis,” said Lorraine Chiponda, coordinator of Africa Climate Movement-of-Movements.

Chiponda adds that “hosting COP28 in a major oil-producing nation would be apt, marking the end of fossil fuel expansion and heralding a future fueled by clean energy”.

Omar Elmawi, African Climate Justice Champion agrees COP28 in Dubai presents a great opportunity for the continent.

“This must be the turning point for African nations—a resounding commitment to a sustainable future. It’s time to shatter the chains of fossil fuel dependency. Africa’s renewable energy potential is vast. Our collective actions, not mere words, will lead Africa toward a greener, more equitable world,” said Elmawi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *