Opening Remarks by Mr. Antonio Pedro at the 11th Conference on CCDA

Opening Remark

Opening Remarks


Opening Session of the 11th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA)


Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Antonio Pedro


Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen,


I am honoured to address the opening session of the 11th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa – the CCDA.


This annual conference is the flagship event of the Climate for Development in Africa Initiative, a joint collaboration of the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.


Since its inception in 2011, the CCDA has undergone remarkable growth, expanding its reach and influence across the continent.


Serving as a truly Pan-African platform, the CCDA brings together diverse stakeholder groups to discuss challenges facing the continent, while also identifying opportunities and solutions.


The involvement of civil society and youth has remained a fundamental characteristic of the conference, underscoring its dedication to fostering inclusive consultations.


This 11th session of the CCDA assumes a special role as it constitutes the technical segment of the inaugural Africa Climate Summit.


Organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry of the Government of Kenya and the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, this CCDA will contribute to recommendations for the outcome documents and declaration of the Summit.


Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen,


With the backdrop of the unfolding climate crisis, the CCDA could not be more timely.


The 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that global warming has already reached 1.1 degrees with devastating consequences across the globe.


Even if countries were to fully implement their revised nationally determined contributions, a scenario that appears increasingly unlikely, the world is on a trajectory to a warming of 1.7 degrees.


Africa will be impacted more than any other continent.


Estimates indicate that, by 2030, Africa could spend 5% of its annual GDP on climate crises based on a warming scenario of 2 degrees, with the Sahel region paying as much as 15%.


The financing gap is huge.


The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change estimates that Africa will require between 65 and 86.5 billion US Dollars annually for adaptation alone up to 2030.


Currently, the continent receives a mere 11.4 billion US Dollars in adaptation financing per year.


Nonetheless, the situation is far from hopeless.


Africa is a solutions powerhouse for saving the climate.


The continent has abundant renewable energy resources, including 40% of the world’s solar irradiation potential.


Against this backdrop, the continent is a great location for advancing green hydrogen.


Multiple low-carbon hydrogen projects are in development in Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, and South Africa.


The continent is rich in cobalt, manganese, platinum, lithium, and copper – critical minerals for producing batteries and other green transition products.


The drive toward achieving net-zero emissions is expected to trigger a 40-fold increase in lithium demand and a 25-fold increase in cobalt demand.


Furthermore, Africa is home to rich natural capital, such as the Congo Basin which contains some of the largest tropical rainforests in the world.


Using nature-based sequestration alone, African countries could provide up to 30% of the world’s sequestration needs.


The key challenge lies in effectively harnessing Africa’s abundant resources in a sustainable and inclusive manner that translates into tangible benefits for the continent’s people.


To mobilize the necessary funding, a paradigm shift is necessary. Africa’s renewable and non-renewable resources constitute an important asset class for mobilizing climate finance and investment.


The ecological services provided by Africa to the world need to be monetised through carbon markets and other innovative instruments including debt-for-climate swaps.


Studies show that African countries could mobilize up to 82 billion US Dollars annually by participating in well-functioning carbon markets.


Through building value chains centred around non-renewable resources, such as critical minerals crucial for battery production, it becomes possible to generate further income that can be reinvested in Africa's sustainable transformation.


In short, our renewable and non-renewable resources must be harnessed to secure the continent’s human, energy, food, mineral, environmental and climate security, meeting basic needs and fostering sustainable structural transformation.


To achieve this, every stakeholder, at the centre or in the periphery, government or private sector, financier or a consumer must play its role and secure a sustainable development licence to operate (SDLO).


A licence which is underpinned on the respect of planetary boundaries, intergenerational equity, fosters shared value creation, and goes beyond the pursuit of profit maximazation and GDP metrics.


It is imperative that we embrace these fundamentals and foster synergies between climate action and development accordingly.


The CCDA, along with the forthcoming Africa Climate Summit, presents an excellent opportunity to develop and ratify solutions capable of addressing the most pressing challenges of our continent and the world.


In concluding, I would like to express my gratitude to all partners that have made this year’s CCDA possible, with a special acknowledgment to the Government of Kenya for hosting this event.


I wish all of us fruitful discussions guided by the ambition that Africa and its people deserve.


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