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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Africa Climate Week: Panelists underline power of partnerships to deliver Nationally Determined Contributions across continent

Representatives from across the continent gathered to share their experiences of implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) at the just-ended Africa Climate Week. They noted that partnerships and effectiveness in measuring, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas emissions would be key to African countries hitting their various targets.

Africa Climate Week
Participants of the Africa Climate Week side event titled “Enabling faster and efficient NDC support through advocacy and partnerships”

The Africa Climate Week 2022 held from August 28 to September 2 in Libreville, Gabon.

Partners of the Africa Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Hub hosted a session entitled “Enabling faster and efficient NDC support through advocacy and partnerships”. These included the African Development Bank (AfDB), which also hosts the Africa NDC Hub, UNECA, the African Union Commission, UNDP and the Global Green Growth Institute.

The session, moderated by AUDA-NEPAD, showcased the work of the Africa NDC Hub, a collaborative platform for partner institutions to leverage one another’s strengths to support African countries deliver their NDCs faster and efficiently.

“Gabon is a net positive country and is committed to remain carbon neutral to 2050,” said Gabon’s Minister of Water, Forest, the Sea and Environment, Professor Lee White, in opening remarks.

He noted that Gabon had submitted a second NDC in 2022 in collaboration with several development partners, some of them members of the NDC Hub. Speaking of one of the country’s key sectors, he stressed that Gabon’s timber should not be embargoed as it is certified and produced legally and sustainably.

He also pressed a point made by Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba earlier during Africa Climate Week to, “let Africa lead” on climate issues. The continent has a lot to offer, he said.  

UNECA’s Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, Mr. Jean-Paul Adams, said: “To be effective, NDCs needed to be integrated in national budgeting systems to receive funding from the national treasury.”

Looking ahead to COP27, Adams said that Africa’s priorities should include a just and equitable transition, finance and resource mobilisation through such instruments as debt for climate swaps.

The Deputy Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Africa Office, Dr. Richard Munang, said there was no one size fits all model.  African countries should rather consider their own individual contexts and prioritise sectors in which they enjoy a comparative advantage. He also stressed the importance of tapping Africa’s youth dividend.  

Davinah Milenge, AfDB’s Principal Programme Coordinator in the Climate Change Department, said: “The African Development Bank established the Africa NDC Hub to leverage the power of partnerships in delivering the NDCs with efficiency, urgency and at scale.”

She said AfDB has targeted its NDC support to prioritise a holistic approach that stimulates economic growth and delivers inclusivity and regional integration. As an example, she cited the Desert to Power initiative, which will add 10 GW of solar generation capacity and provide electricity to around 250 million people in 11 Sahelian countries by 2030.

Representatives from Kenya, Nigeria and Gabon provided country experiences on NDC implementation, current needs and priorities. During the last session of the side event, Africa NDC Hub partners institutions outlined their country-support programmes for NDC implementation.

Africa NDC Hub partners will launch a flagship publication at COP27 outlining progress in NDC implementation across nine thematic areas. The report is expected to spotlight key priorities ahead of the UN Global Stocktake (GST) on the Paris Agreement, scheduled for 2023.

By Adebola Adeyemi

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