What is Africa taking to Paris COP21?

ClimDev-Africa takes stock of Africa’s journey in climate negotiations, sharpens Africa’s strategies and expectations from COP21

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 22 January 2015 (ECA) – The Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme yesterday began a stocktaking exercise on Africa’s journey in the climate change negotiations through a three-day Expert Group Meeting which runs from 21 – 23 January 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Opening the meeting,  Dr. Fatima Denton, Director of the Special Initiatives Division at the UN Economic Commission for Africa stressed the timeliness of the meeting which comes less than a year to COP21 in Paris at which a new agreement on climate change will be negotiated and called on the participants to thoroughly explore the pros and cons of definitions of new aspects of the negotiations such as the Intended Nationally Determined Commitments (INDC); Structural and Conjectural Issues affecting Africa’s Negotiation; including Adaptation and Loss and Damage; Technology transfer; Climate Finance; and, Capacity Development.

Dr. Denton noted that “it is important that Africa have a clear understanding of the INDC so as to better contribute to it and participate in its implementation in a meaningful manner”.  She fired up participants by assuring them that with the skilled manpower that the Continent has, Africa can start to set trends and champion Low Carbon Development to reduce vulnerability and secure the future of its children.

Hosted by the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) - the research arm of the ClimDev-Africa consortium – the theme of the meeting is: “Understanding the evolving landscape of Africa in the UNFCCC Negotiations: from Kyoto to Paris”. Some fifty experts in different aspects of climate change negotiations from across the continent are attending the meeting to share their perspectives and narratives on the negotiations landscape.

The outcome of the meeting is expected to be extended outlines of documents that will facilitate understanding of the different elements of the negotiations, including the alignment of INDC to national development strategies of African countries; enhance abilities to support the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting in Paris; improve Africa’s preparedness in accessing finance and technology; and, forge a strategy that ultimately results in a monitoring and evaluation framework for Africa’s climate negotiations.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in this era. In response to the impacts of climate change, the international community instituted the UNFCCC process to seek better ways of managing the phenomenon on global level.

Africa’s participation in the UNFCCC negotiations has recently been boosted by concerted effort to have an African Common Position for each session of the global climate talks. These efforts crystalized in Decision No. Assembly/Dec. 457(XX) of the coordination mechanism of the Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) taken during the 2011 Malabo Summit authorising the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme, to organise and manage Africa’s participation at all COP events.

Issued by the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa)