A just transition that leaves no one behind

Sharm El-Sheikh, 12 November 2022 (ECA) - Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management at the UN Economic Commission (ECA) for Africa, Jean-Paul Adam, has emphasized the need for additional financial resources to achieve Africa's just transition.


Mr Adam said Africa needs “a just energy transition that leaves no one behind, on Africa's terms, based on the resources that African countries have, and we need to build resilience in our economies by investing in agriculture, the blue economy and leveraging the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”


He was speaking during the Africa Day Technical Session on Implementing Climate Actions: Africa's Response for a Just Transition at COP27. The event, which took place on 12 November, brought together various stakeholders to share knowledge and experiences regarding the activities to address climate change on the continent.


The importance of such an Africa Day event at COP27 was articulated by Botswana’s Deputy Permanent Secretary of Green Technology and Energy Security, Nchena Mothebe: “it provides us with a platform to deliberate key priorities for our continent, take stock of and showcase achievements in the global fight against climate change and share experiences and challenges.”


Mr Mothebe was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism. This year’s theme, he noted, “is both relevant and timely as Africa tries to position itself within the just transition narrative and space.” 


The session also provided opportunity for representatives from the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the African Risk Capacity Group and the East African Community Secretariate to share their work on building resilience against climate change and translating global policy into concrete action on the ground.


African Union’s (AU) director for Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment, Harsen Nyambe, underscored the AU’s commitment to climate change issues, saying, "the Climate Change and Resilience Development Strategy was adopted this year and we also have climate commissions and other initiatives in place to coordinate issues of adaptation on the continent.”


For his part, Ephraim Shitima, Chair of the African Group of Negotiators stressed the importance of taking each country's particular context into account when talking about the just transitionbecause “because countries have different starting points.”


The event was organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). Estherine Fotabong who heads AUDA-NEPAD’s Programme Implementation and Coordination Directorate said “we will continue to support Member States within the context of negotiations, but more importantly on the ground with Civil Society Organizations, with parliamentarians, to drive strategic programmes to help Africa adapt to the effects of climate change.”


She also deplored the damage caused by droughts, floods, and how it impacts o ordinary Africans, stating “that concerns us.”


Other high-level speakers at the session included Didier Molisho, Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Rural Economy and Environment of the Pan-African Parliament and Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.



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