Monday, November 30, 2015

Securing a deal that meets Africa’s needs

By Protus Onyango

PARIS, France (PAMACC News) – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said that COP 21 provides African governments with an  opportunity to take climate leadership, building a climate-resilient and low-carbon future while  contributing to global mitigation efforts.

"By speaking with one voice at COP21, African countries are playing a key role in designing a new climate agreement that prevents catastrophic global warming while helping Africa build climate-resilient, low-carbon development. The COP21 climate summit must deliver a deal that meets Africa’s needs. The Paris COP21 meeting also offers an opportunity to build on broader progress during 2015 towards more and better sustainable development," said AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

African governments have played an important role in articulating how that principle can be interpreted for climate justice, shifting away  from the deadlock over “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

"It is crucial for Africa that COP21 results in the commitments needed to limit average
global warming to 1.5˚C, and secures the support  required to enable a low-carbon transition at speed and scale. Second, for Africa’s own development. Several African  governments now recognise that there is no trade-off between growth and climate action. Climate-resilient development is a vital part of any strategy for inclusive growth," Dr Adesina said.

The AfDB is well placed to support these developments, given its ability to mobilise considerable resources within one institution, and to position itself as Africa’s premier energy champion. In doing so, it can contribute significantly to achieving the objectives of its ten-year strategy of promoting inclusive growth and transitioning towards green growth.

The outcomes of the negotiation of a future legal outcome should provide for the
developmental priorities of Africa, whilst ensuring adequacy of a global emission
reduction effort to keep the continent safe.

In 2015 the world agreed on a way forward with the adoption of the Global Goals and made progress at the Addis Ababa Financing for Development conference.

The Global Goals include dedicated goals on climate change and on energy (“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

African countries had an opportunity to state their  ambition through the submission of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). These form a key input to global expectations of COP21 and are expected to form the basis of a post-2020 climate agreement. They provide a snapshot of each country’s planned development pathway.

 INDCs are bottom-up commitments from all nations towards the agreed objective of limiting average surface temperature increase to 2°C, covering the five elements of the Durban Platform – mitigation, adaptation, finance, capacity building and technology transfer. They are voluntary but will become binding in the event of a successful agreement at COP21. All nations were requested to submit an INDC by end of October 2015. The INDCs have provided African governments with a vehicle to set out their ambition for the transition to a growth-oriented, climate-resilient, low-carbon development future. They could become the roadmap for development funded by multilateral development banks and donors. They have offered African nations an opportunity to demonstrate climate leadership by providing ambitious emission projections and transition and resilience plans.

They could reinforce the need for a credible global deal at COP21, backed by appropriate levels of finance. The AfDB fully supports the development of the INDCs by African countries, which will largely influence the Bank’s climate-change related interventions on the African continent.

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