Theme: Climate information services for Africa’s sustainable development – How to improve delivery and uptake?
Background and rationale
Africa’s reflections during the COP21 conference are not limited to the negotiations, but also to creating opportunities to continuously galvanise momentum for economic growth that is resilient to climate change using the best science and climate information services. Africa currently bears the greater share of the burden posed by climate variability and change, particularly in relation to economic losses and impediments to development goals, yet ironically the continent enjoyed the fastest continuous economic growth of all global regions for more than a decade.
At the core of the global climate policy negotiation is limiting global surface warming to 2°C compared to the pre-industrial era. This temperature target, which helps orient international climate negotiations is the focus of fierce debate between what some consider as an acceptable threshold of global warming versus warming that is dangerous, and thus to be avoided. But, what are the implications of a 2°C global warming target for Africa’s sustainable development ambitions?
The effects of climate variability and change are already being experienced but the most severe impacts are expected to be felt in decades to come.
The 5th IPCC report indicates that:
• Climate change poses challenges to growth and development in Africa;
• Further climate change is inevitable in the coming decades;
• Low-carbon development options may be less costly in the long run and could offer new economic opportunities for Africa;
• Africa stands to benefit from integrated climate adaptation, mitigation and development approaches;
• International cooperation is critical to avert dangerous climate change and African governments can promote ambitious global action
It is therefore critical that development policies and practices at all levels, from local to global, incorporate robust, timely and spatially detailed climate data and information and customised climate knowledge and tools are needed to determine risks and opportunities and define appropriate climate change.
Climate information services (CIS) can safeguard the gains made in Africa’s recent economic growth, and capitalize on emerging opportunities for continuous growth. CIS can increase the scope and scale of transformation by connecting interrelated sectors, optimise productivity and cost effectiveness while minimising trade-offs across systems.
ClimDev-Africa programme what it's all about?
In recognition that low uptake and production of climate information is threatening the continent’s social and economic development, the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), was established to create a solid foundation for delivery of an appropriate African response to climate change challenges and opportunities. ClimDev-Africa is mandated at the highest level of Africa’s political leadership (AU Summit of Heads of State and Government).
Objectives of the ClimDev-Africa dinner dialogue
The Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) programme is hosting a invitation-only dinner dialogue of high level representatives from the ClimDev-Africa partner institutions, government representatives, development partners, experts and friends of Africa to discuss what it takes to make climate-smart decisions and translate climate knowledge into actionable climate services. The Dinner Dialogue aims to:
• Discuss the potential of climate information services (CIS) for Africa’s transition to climate resilient and low-carbon development and job creation.
• Demonstrate the link between climate services and development and the attendant need to address persistent knowledge gaps.
• Engage the private sector and development partners on the best practices for improved delivery and uptake of climate information services.
• The conditions necessary for effective public and private partnerships for the provision of cutting-edge customised services and products to better inform decision makers.
The expected outcomes include:
• Enhanced understanding of the value of credible climate information services for Africa’s sustainable development;
• Lessons of good practices on the uptake and delivery of climate information services shared;
• Avenues for stimulating demand and investments in climate information services across Africa discussed;
• Strategic partnerships for uptake and delivery of climate information services at regional and global levels discussed;
The 3 hour moderated event will use pre-determined questions to guide and coordinate the discussion in a participatory approach.
Dr. Elena Manaenkova, Assistant Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) which serves as Secretariat for the Climate for Development in Africa programme (ClimDev-Africa).