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Saturday, September 30, 2023

COP26: Africa Climate Week 2021 sets scene for regional ambition

Africa Climate Week 2021 wrapped up this week with Virtual Thematic Sessions helping to set the scene for more ambitious regional action to tackle climate change ahead of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in November.

Patricia Espinosa
Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

More than 1,600 participants actively joined in the virtual gathering, with the host Government of Uganda convening governments at all levels across the region, along with private sector leaders, academic experts and other key stakeholders.

“The next two months will be critical for the success of our collective climate change efforts here in Africa and throughout the world,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, addressing participants. “Your input is vital for that success… We need your transformative ideas to drive what ultimately must be a transformative decade and century.”

Beatrice A. Anywar, Minister of State for Environment, Government of Uganda, said: “The happenings we have observed leave us with no option but to zero in on accelerating transformational action and implementing this action within our common but differentiated responsibilities. I am confident that the commitment you have shown to participate in this virtual event attests to a commitment to bold action. Please do keep the momentum going.”

The core organizing partners led three days of discussions on themes that are needed to mount an effective response to climate change:

  • The World Bank examined economy-wide approaches for a sustainable, green recovery.
  • UNDP explored how both climate risk and climate solutions are reshaping different sectors.
  • UNEP reimagined the future and looked at behaviors, technologies and financing that take us there.

ACW 2021 featured 190 speakers in 146 virtual sessions presented in collaboration with dozens of global and regional organisations.

During ACW 2021, the UK COP26 Presidency hosted a series of preparatory sessions to prepare the participation of African delegates at COP26.

Janet Rogan, COP26 Regional Ambassador for Africa and the Middle East, said: “Africa Climate Week has enabled us to build new partnerships and strengthen existing ones. This kind of collaboration is fundamental if we are to succeed in keeping the temperature goal of 1.5 degrees within reach and to adapt to existing and future impacts of climate change. Indeed, only by working together can we truly help to deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement while being conscious of the unique opportunities and challenges this presents in the region. And I am looking forward to building on the conversations we’ve had beyond this Climate Week and in the weeks leading up to COP26.”

In October, an ACW 2021 Output Report will be published online and included in a Regional Climate Weeks 2021 High-Level Communique. Taking the place of a ministerial meeting, the Communique will be released prior to COP26 and inform the Ministerial segment of the UN Climate Change conference COP26.

The Communique will feature outputs from all three Regional Climate Weeks in 2021 and will be presented to the COP26 Presidency at a special COP26 event.

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