Brazzaville, Congo, March 3, 2021 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is supporting the African Union Commission (AUC) in finalizing the African Climate Change Strategy (2020-2030). James Murombedzi of the ECA’s African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), said this at the on-going 7th Session of the African Regional Forum for Sustainable Development (ARFSD) currently taking place in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
“The African Climate Change Strategy 2020-2030 is designed to be a framework to guide climate actions in member States towards low carbon emissions development.” Mr. Murombedzi said. “The continent must embark on adopting green pathways for economic growth. This is necessary as climate change is disruptive on national economies, ecosystems and livelihoods.”
Mr. Murombedzi, who made a keynote presentation at the Climate Action forum, noted that climate change was directly impacting on Africa’s ability to realize sustainable development goals (SDGs) and Africa’s development framework as envisaged in Agenda 2063.
He went on to enumerate on some of the challenges to be addressed to cushion the continent from adverse climate effects, including integrating climate information services into the continent’s development processes, engagement of all stakeholders, securing adequate means to implementation for transition into low emissions pathways and ensuring major emitters step up their climate ambitions.
Mr. Murombedzi also urged the continent to adopt climate smart interventions, which will generate decent and sustainable green and blue jobs. His sentiments come in the wake of the ECA’s launch of the Building Forward for an African Green Recovery Report, which provides an evidence-based roadmap for the continent to embrace clean energy sources as a recovery pathway in post-COVID-19 continental build forward better strategy.
Speaking at the same forum, James Kinyangi of the African Development Bank (AfDB) noted that the multilateral development bank was going to double its climate finance of $12.5bn in its 2016-2020 timeframe to $25bn in the period 2021-2025. According to Mr. Kinyangi, the AfDB is opening up several financing portfolios to ensure Africa’s low-carbon and climate resilient development ambitions are adequately boosted.
Germain Mpassi, the Director-General for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Congo’s Ministry of Tourism and Environment, noted that “Africa has its role to play in the attainment of the Paris Agreement’s goals.” Highlighting the importance of the Congo Basin’s peatlands, he illustrated the measures undertaken to support peatland communities and also protecting these critical forests. Mr. Mpassi who chaired the session, which was hosted by Mami Mizutori, the special representative of the UN Secretary General on Disaster, Risk Reduction, explained measures taken by his government to harness the Congo Basin as a veritable carbon sink and a global asset in curbing emissions.
Morocco’s Razi Bozekri, who serves as Director of Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Green Economy, outlined the clean energy trajectory undertaken by the Moroccan government in transiting to renewable energies through the use of solar and wind. Morocco’s Noor Ouarzazate Solar Complex, which was connected to Morocco’s main grid in 2016, is among Africa’s success stories of clean energy adoption. The AfDB, among other partners, were involved in making this green clean energy quest a reality.
Mr. Bozekri also recalled the establishment of the three African climate commissions namely; Sahel Regional Commission; Congo Basin Commission and the Commission of Island States. He acknowledged the strides made by these three commissions in supporting continental efforts to address climate change that were firmed during the African Action Summit led by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on the margins of COP22 held in Marrakech.
Climate financing and digitization of climate information systems as well as access in the continent featured prominently in the lively session that was also addressed by Mithika Mwenda of the leading continental climate civil society umbrella body, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), and Chinma George from Nigeria who represented the youth.
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