Africa Day High-Level Side Event at COP 24: Implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Support of the African Union’s Agenda 2063
Presented by the African Union Commission (AUC)
L-R: Harsen Nyambe, African Union Commission (AUC); Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC; Regis Immongault, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabon, and Committee of African Heads of State & Government on Climate Change (CAHOSSC); James Murombdzi, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA); and Anthony Nyong, African Development Bank (AfDB)
As part of Africa Day, the AUC hosted a panel on the Africa NDC Hub, which aims to support member states in operationalizing their NDCs in view of Agenda 2063. The panel was moderated by Harsen Nyambe, Head of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management, AUC.
Anthony Nyong, African Development Bank (AfDB), highlighted that climate-related finance remains a major issue in Africa, given that the implementation of African countries’ NDCs include conditional targets related to the provision of additional resources. He highlighted the AfDB’s Africa NDC Hub, which provides support for implementing NDCs by mainstreaming them into national development plans.
James Murombdzi, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), highlighted that climate change adaptation and sustainable development are “two sides of the same coin.” He noted that many NDCs are conditional upon resources that must be mobilized across the private, public and civil society sectors. He highlighted that UNECA would reorganize its programming to include new sub-programmes on climate change and natural resource management. Murombdzi further stressed the need to view economic and climate policy in ways that reflect Africa’s economic realities.
Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC, noted the impacts of climate change across Africa and the limited adaptive capacity that increases the continent’s vulnerability. Reaffirming the commitment of AUC to working with all its partners to support member states in the implementation of their NDCs, she announced that the AUC will have a continental strategy to address climate change by 2019.
Régis Immongault, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabon, and Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSSC), lauded Africa’s engagement in mitigating and adapting to climate change, but highlighted the lack of concrete responses from public, private and civil society actors. He stressed that Africa must speak “with one voice” in negotiations to ensure just outcomes, and noted that the NDC Hub’s aim of mobilizing resources was encouraging in this regard.
In their discussions, participants agreed on the importance of a just climate transition that reflects Africa’s economic realities, and on the necessity of leveraging resources from the private sector and from civil society into public mechanisms to successfully and concretely implement NDCs.
Moderator Harsen Nyambe, AUC
On NDC implmentation, Anthony Nyong, AfDB, said: “We cannot do it alone. We need to do it in partnership.”
James Murombdzi, UNECA, stressed the need for a just transition that addresses environmental insecurity and reduces poverty in Africa.
Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC, cited the shrinking of Lake Chad as an example of the evidence-based impacts of climate change in Africa.
Régis Immongault, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabon, and CAHOSSC, stressed the need for solidarity across Africa on adaptation.
Participants during the event
Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC, is interviewed at the end of the event.
Climate-Friendly Technologies: Improving Adaptive Capacity of Women and Building Resilience
Presented by the Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change
Panelists pose for a group photo
This event presented case studies from developing countries on locally relevant, climate-friendly technologies for vulnerable peoples, with a focus on women. Ajita Tiwari Padhi, Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change (INECC), moderated the event, with panelists and participants discussing barriers and policy recommendations for promoting and scaling-up these technologies.
Padhi highlighted that women face greater burdens from poverty-related climate change impacts, and stressed the need to consider their needs in an equitable way. She also noted the importance of establishing a dedicated agenda under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and including text in the Paris Agreement on gender.
Priyadarshini Karve, Samuchit Enviro Tech, said that her organization is working with communities in remote locations, bringing them improved cooking stove technology, and stated that they have developed a process to better understand people’s preferences. She stressed that the stove needs to respond to the different needs of each community and that the organization is trying to train entrepreneurs to make the stoves themselves. She noted that a project is considered successful when the stoves are still used after the end of the project cycle.
Siddharth D’Souza, Laya Green Ventures, discussed projects that aim to reduce the daily burden on women in tribal regions of Andhra Pradesh, India. He shared examples focused on providing energy access, water pumps, water filters, improved cookstoves and biogas; and highlighted that climate-smart technologies can be developed effectively by starting with a clear identification of community needs and barriers to technology uptake.
Colin McQuistan, Practical Action, discussed technology roll out in local communities and efforts to make local technology development ecosystems fairer and more effective. He emphasized: the catalytic potential of such efforts; the need to align technology-focused efforts in international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; and that private sector technology development must be driven by community needs, not just profit.
In the ensuing discussion, panelists addressed the main challenges to bringing these technologies to communities, including lack of funding and investment. Saleemul Huq, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), said that future Conferences of the Parties (COPs) need to consider ways to scale up bottom-up actions related to technology and gender around the world.
Ajita Tiwari Padhi, INECC, noted that everyone is affected in a different way by climate change and that there are different technological solutions for climate mitigation.
Saleemul Huq, IIED, noted that other countries will soon come to learn from Bangladesh’s early experiences in rolling out climate-friendly technology.
Priyadarshini Karve, Samuchit Enviro Tech, noted that the negotiation processes are futile unless the decision makers listen to people on the ground.
Colin McQuistan, Practical Action, discussed how technology is not only a useful “thing” but also a learning mechanism.
L-R: Meena Raman, Third World Network (TWN); Ravi Prasad, India; Moderator Vicente Yu, South Centre; Zahir Fakir, South Africa, and G-77/China Finance Coordinator; and Walter Schuldt, Ecuador
The event, moderated by Vicente Yu, South Centre, focused on sharing developing countries’ views on equity-related issues and emphasizing that greater climate action is only possible with equity among developed and developing countries.
Noting the higher impact of climate change on vulnerable groups, Walter Schuldt, Ecuador, highlighted the need for all stakeholders to recognize the urgency of accelerating greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. Related to equity, he underscored the importance of addressing transparency, and lack of access to finance, technology and capacity building in developing countries.
Zahir Fakir, South Africa, and G-77/China Finance Coordinator, emphasized the financial gaps between the USD 100 billion pledge made for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the actual money available, noting the growing number of concessional projects. He called for developing countries to carefully consider their financial mobilization plans.
Ravi Prasad, India, emphasized the need to consider “outcome-oriented equity,” as well as equity with regards to how it impacts individuals from both developing and developed countries.
Meena Raman, TWN, highlighted that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities is based on the historical fact that developed countries have had an advantage over developing countries in wealth creation. She highlighted the inequities that continue to exist, and noted that if developed countries are struggling with transformation to fossil fuel-free economies, then one cannot expect developing countries to transform with ease.
In the ensuing question and answer session, topics centered on: the role of technology transfer in implementing the Paris Agreement; difference between adaptation finance and finance for mitigation; and how to deal with financial gaps.
Moderator Vicente Yu, South Centre, stressed that the equity issue is a key element of finalizing the global stocktake design at COP 24.
Walter Schuldt, Ecuador, said ensuring finance to implement the Paris Agreement should be the core element of promoting global climate action.
Meena Raman, TWN, noted that developing countries cannot rely on adaptation alone, and will need support for loss and damage in situations where disasters have destroyed livelihoods.
Zahir Fakir, South Africa and G-77/China Finance Coordinator, said that developing countries’ “eligibility” for gaining financial support is becoming an important issue.
Ravi Prasad, India, stressed the need to ensure that climate actions consider the realities of life for people of developing countries.
CLIMATE-L - A Mailing List for News on Climate Change Policy
SDG - A Mailing List for News on Sustainable Development Policy
SDG Update Newsletter - A compilation of news, commentary and upcoming events published on the SDG Knowledge Hub
SDG Knowledge Hub - An Online Resource Center for News and Commentary Regarding the Implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Linkages Update - International Environment and Sustainable Development News
Specific funding for coverage of selected side events at the Katowice Climate Change Conference – December 2018, has been provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia