Africa Climate Week: Opportunities and Gains

Survivor of Cyclone Idai

Survivors of Cyclone Idai face shortages of clean water and food and are at risk of water bourne diseases due to contaminated flood water. Photo: Sergio Zimba / Oxfam

“The commitment of the UN Secretary-General is to urgently follow-up with actors that have pledged commitments during the Summit on the progress and implementation of those commitments”
Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba
UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy
The Africa Climate Week which has just ended concluding a five-day programme of events in Accra, Ghana brought together policy makers and change champions to deliberate among other things, on emerging opportunities accruing from national climate action plans.
The major highlight of the meet was African policymakers concerted focusing on the opportunities of their countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), national climate action plans under the Paris Agreement.
At the summary event, speakers presented key takeaways to Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for this year’s Climate Action Summit, who will carry them as input into the September gathering to be held from September 23 to 29 in New York City and run in coordination with the UN.
The conference featured three themes, which have provided the focus of discussions at the Climate Week – Cities & Local Action, Energy Transition, and Nature-Based Solutions. These themes correspond directly to three of the ‘Transformational Areas’ and which will guide the upcoming Summit in New York City later in the year.
Concrete list of actions.
Ambassador Alfonso de Alba reminded delegates attending the summary event; ‘Pathway from Accra to the UN Climate Action Summit’, that the September Summit must deliver not a declaration, but a concrete list of actions.
“The commitment of the UN Secretary-General is to urgently follow-up with actors that have pledged commitments during the Summit on the progress and implementation of those commitments,” Ambassador Alfonso de Alba said. “We have been looking at this meeting here in Accra to identify actions that are relevant from across the region, such as those on resilience and adaptation.”
Houses in Mozambique, flooded and damaged by Cyclone Idai. Photo:Sergio Zimba/Oxfam
The Mayor of Quelimane, a seaport in Mozambique, Mr. Manuel de Araújo alluding to Cyclone Idai, which has hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, affecting more than 2 million people, said, “I think I am well positioned to talk about climate change as my people are experiencing its consequences right now.”
Oxfam and other agencies are already on the ground offering humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the thousands of people affected by Cyclone Idai.
The barrier to securing this level of progress remains adequate investment, which needs to be facilitated with proper enabling environments and regionally-tailored financial instruments such as green and climate-themed bonds, special-purpose bonds, and crowdfunding.
Climate finance commitments
There are many signs of progress. According to the “Bonds and Climate Change State of the Market 2018” report, an estimated 1.45 trillion green and climate-allied bonds were issued in 2018 alone. The African Development Bank will double its climate finance commitments for the period 2020-2025. At the Inaugural regional One Planet Summit in Nairobi recently, the African Development Bank committed at least USD 25 billion towards climate finance, pledging that it will allocate 40% of its annual approvals to climate finance by 2020.
The Africa Climate Week was not all about conference and meetings. The Co-Founder and Executive Director of Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Mr. Mithika Mwenda was named in ‘100 most influential people in climate change policy 2019’
“This recognition is not for Mithika or PACJA alone. It reflects and recognizes our collective effort to cultivate a world where all of us are equal, and where our actions are geared towards bequeathing a habitable planet to the future generations”. Mr. Alvin Munyasia; Oxfam Pan Africa Programme Food Security and Climate Justice Advisor said. “As a legacy partner and co-founders to PACJA, Oxfam Pan Africa Programme has contributed to PACJA’s strategic positioning as a formidable Actor in international climate discourse processes.
At Oxfam Pan Africa Programme we actively support broader and thematic efforts that address citizens freedom from hunger, right to food, land ownership and climate justice by advocating for increased, responsible and accountable public and private investment that supports small scale farmers, especially women in realizing their rights and entitlements to food security, land ownership and climate justice.
You too can help flood affected people in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe