The Africa Climate Talks:
Democratizing global climate change governance and building an African consensus toward COP21 and beyond
As the global climate governance framework has evolved and become more complex, the challenges of engaging with this framework to reflect the interests of the African states as well as to create a conducive environment to support the development of African national and regional responses has also become more challenging. Various initiatives have been launched to support African governments and negotiators in the UNFCCC processes. These have cumulatively improved Africa’s engagement with the convention and its protocols.
For Africa in particular, COP21 represents a moment when the creation of a new global agreement coincides with the increasing influence and confidence of Africa on the global scene. African economies have been growing significantly over the past decade along with efforts to strengthen self-determination in all spheres. In the climate change context, the continent has put in place a Committee of Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), African Ministers of Environment have an annual conference at which climate change has become the most significant discussion; African Regional Economic Commissions have elaborated regional climate strategies; and most African governments have put in place policy and legal frameworks to guide their own national climate responses.
The Africa Climate Talks is an initiative of ClimDev-Africa, a partnership programme between the African Union Commission (AUC), African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), are a series of interconnected sub-regional events that will be part of the preparatory process for Africa’s contribution to COP 21, defining an African climate change narrative and further building confidence and consensus around key issues. The Africa Climate Talks do not seek to supplant ongoing national, regional and international initiatives, but rather to enrich them by enlarging the spaces for engagement and further democratize the discussions.
Africa Climate Talks (ACT!)
Aim engage Africans from all spheres of life in the lead up to the Paris COP21 and to stimulate a wide-ranging discourse informed by the emerging African common positions on a range of pertinent issues in the lead up to Paris, and to also create platforms for the discussion of African perspectives on key issues in the linkages between climate change and Africa’s transformative development trajectories. ACT! will enhance public awareness of climate change; its implications, challenges and opportunities for Africa and facilitate critical reflection on the global dynamics of climate governance and the possible implications of the outcomes of COP21 for Africa.
The Africa Climate Talks will provide spaces for national and regional collaboration on climate change; provide platforms for information sharing and interaction between different stakeholders on topical issues and catalyze the convergence of the multiple positions and interests on climate issues on the continent. The debates will be held in each region of Africa as well as in the African Small Island States.