Africa Climate Week 2019

By Gloria Kasang Bulus

Climate change actors gathered in Accra, Ghana for the Africa Climate Week (ACW) 2019 to seek ways to forge ahead in mitigating against and adapting to the impacts of a changing global climate. ACW took place at the Accra International Center from 18 – 22 March 2019, and brought together diverse actors from the public and private sectors. Participants focused on how engagement between stakeholders can further strengthen key sectors in Africa, including energy, agriculture, and human settlements. The event showcased the role of future carbon markets to enhance climate action towards the goal of sustainable development, and seek to facilitate implementation of countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change and SDG 13 (Climate Action), among other Goals.

Africa Climate Week with its many activities gave room for capacity building, experience sharing, lesson learning, and networking, which can open up new opportunities to address climate change crises in Africa. But, the big question is, how can we access this opportunity?

Gloria Kasang Bulus, Climate Reality Leader & Founder of Bridge That Gap Initiative, adds her signature in support of agroecology at Africa Climate Week 2019

SOME KEY OUTCOMES FROM DIFFERENT SESSIONS:

  • Key to nature-based transformation lies in shaping and supporting the investment decisions of smallholder farmers, foresters, and fishers to adopt risk-informed and driven integrated farming and land-use planning systems that safeguard biodiversity as well as improve their livelihoods.
  • Develop integrative incentive packages that maximize the adoption of improved farming practices at farm and landscape levels, and those that look to longer-term investment horizons.
  • Smallholder producers need to be active participants in finding solutions, and all efforts should be made to integrate local and traditional knowledge with scientific knowledge.
  • Policies for sustainable actions need to focus on implementation and tackling corruption.
  • Bring all stakeholders together to design risk-informed adaption action.
  • Sharing of information and data on climate change impacts and adaptation needs, and effectively disseminate research findings across all levels.
  • Create incentives for adaptation with the economic potentials of climate resilience.
  • Create an enabling environment for farmers to implement adaptation strategies and have access to risk insurance.
  • Farmer-friendly and equitable, non-traditional financial solutions that prioritize not only profit but also sustainability and resilience, and work with and for agroecological solutions.
  • Scale-out and distribute climate information service technologies.
  • Tailor partnership to meet client-targeted needs.
  • Need for strong farmer organizations that link to the private sectors and value chain schemes.
  • Significant increase in finance to reach farmers through inclusive business models.
  • There is the need to translate early warning into early action.
  • Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) protects livelihoods.
  • Scaling up of EWEA requires coordination, partnerships and institutionalization in regional and national organizations.
  • EWEA creates opportunities in the agriculture and food sector based on risk-informed investment.
  • Climate change affects almost all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including poverty, public health, access to water, energy, etc.
  • Climate education is important to educate the younger generations on sustainable lifestyles and the dangers of climate change.

TAKEAWAYS FROM AFRICA CLIMATE WEEK

Climate ambition measuring up to the 1.5C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement will be achievable in Africa when:

  • Climate plans are aligned with development plans: Mitigation and adaptation actions need to be embedded in national development strategies.
  • Data is made consistent, reliable and comparable. This will help to identify opportunities and also to plan, finance, and implement action at all levels: national, sub-national, local, and across sectors.
  • Investment is increased and proper enabling environments are put in place. Public finance is used strategically to generate investor confidence and attract private sector players, ultimately spurring clean energy investment, including from local sources.
  • Capacity building and technical support, private sector engagement, institutional partners, engagement with policy makers and government are all improved and increased.
  • Climate mitigation and markets can be mainstreamed and aligned with regional development goals.
  • Government, private sector, civil society, local communities, and other key actors should drive the process.
  • Existing legal frameworks should be built upon.
  • Green jobs for young people
  • Nature-based solutions for climate action
  • Clear plans and clear ambition will attract private sector investments towards climate action projects
  • With the right enabling frameworks in place, public finance can be used more strategically to attract private sector players and scale-up clean energy investment.

ACW 2019 rounded up with the hope that Africa’s challenges will be converted to opportunities, gender will be mainstreamed into climate action, and the outcome will guide Africa as the world is entering a new era of ambition – where all people, nations, and organizations must come together to urgently increase action to meet the 1.5C temperature goal.

  • Visit to the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana on the 22nd of March. Group Photograph with Amb. Femi Michael Abikoye, Ambassador of Nigeria to Ghana, Ministers and staff of the High Commission, and youth delegates from Nigeria attending ACW 2019.

  • Delegates from Nigeria attending Africa Climate Week 2019 gather for a group photo.

  • Youth environmental activists representing organisations from across the continent at Africa Climate week 2019 call for less talk and more action on a low-carbon, just transition, and sustainable development.

  • Gloria with Portia Adu-Mensah of 350 Ghana Reducing Our Carbon (G ROC) at the closing session of Africa Climate Week 2019.