The Africa Climate Week 2019 holds from March 18 to 22 in Accra, Ghana, an event the organisers say will feature a schedule of activities that will demonstrate enhanced ambition across the continent.
The summit arrives in the wake of the COP24 international climate negotiations in Poland in December 2018, which concluded with the finalisation of the “Katowice Climate Package” on December 15 – also known as the Paris Agreement Work Programme. The Africa Climate Week represents the first major climate-orientated event in 2019 that will promote the Programme’s “guidelines” as the underpinning to practically implement the Paris Agreement.
The timely completion of these operational elements – and the ramping-up of national ambition relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change and support for developing countries to take climate action – will be critical to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and, ultimately, keeping the global average temperature rise to as close as possible to 1.5°C, according to the UN Climate Change in a statement.
In terms of climate action, 2019 is already being hailed as the year of ambition, since the world has until 2020 for countries to come back to the table to revise their national climate action plans, also known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or “NDCs”. Therefore, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is convening a landmark Summit in New York on September 2019 to spur global leaders to pledge stronger commitments to reduce emissions and strengthen resilience.
“In acknowledgment of this Summit as the ‘headline event’ of the year – and recognising that the Regional Climate Weeks are the obvious stages to precipitate momentum in developing countries in the lead-up to September – Africa Climate Week has firmly aligned itself with the New York event – firstly, by matching its overarching theme ‘Climate Action in Africa: A Race We Can Win’ with that of the September Summit and, secondly, by selecting three of the Summit’s six ‘transformational areas’ as the focus of its thematic sessions on 21-22 March: Energy Transition, Nature-Based Solutions, and Cities and Local Action. The other three areas of the New York Summit will be Climate Action and Carbon pricing; Reducing Emissions from Industry and Building Resilience,” disclosed the UN Climate Change.
Meanwhile, the high-level segment, which takes place on Wednesday, March 20, will bring together Ministers and senior leaders – including UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa – and focus on areas such as: visions for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) enhancement and implementation; carbon pricing and markets, as well as the operationalisation of the ambition cycle in the Africa region.
Governments, private sector and other non-Party stakeholders will gather in Accra throughout the Climate Week – which also incorporates two days of affiliated events throughout March 18 to 19 – to promote the critical work under the three transformational areas via the three levers of policy, technology and finance.
The Africa Climate Week is the first of three annual regional climate events this year – the latter two being the Latin America & Caribbean Climate Week and the Asia Pacific Climate Week. The Africa Climate Week is being orchestrated by several core partners, including World Bank Group, African Development Bank, West African Development Bank, CTCN, UNEP, UNEP DTU Partnership, UNDP, IETA, Marrakech Partnership and UN Climate Change.
The collective goal of these Climate Weeks is to support the implementation of countries’ NDCs under the Paris Agreement and climate action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. In so doing, they bring together a diverse array of international stakeholders in the public and private sectors around the common goal of enhancing climate action.