Ten Africa Priorities for COP28

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COP 28 is being called as the “COP of transformation” where parties must deliver
According to WWF COP28 Africa Expectation Paper, “Africa’s position for COP28 is clearly articulated in the Addis Ababa Declaration of the 19th Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and reaffirmed by African leaders in the Nairobi Declaration adopted at the inaugural African Climate Summit (ACS) in Nairobi”.

Below are the 10 priorities for Africa at COP 28 outlined in the Expectation Paper. 

1. Strengthened implementation of the New NDCs

African countries have, through their renewed NDCs, proposed additional actions to increase their ambition to keep global temperature increase below 1.5°C by the end of the century. WWF in 2021 published the report on the “Africa NDCs: Recommendations for Decisionmakers’. According to the report, most of the African countries that have submitted their reviewed NDCs have increased their mitigation ambition. Implementation of these new or updated NDCs is the point of departure for delivering on the ACS objective “To raise the ambition of Africa for low carbon climate resilient development pathways” but also providing the opportunity to get this cut across the four thematic areas of the Africa Climate Week (ACW).

 2. Primacy of Adaptation, more urgent than ever

At COP28, Africa on climate adaptation should: stress the further elaboration of adaptation planning and implementation, including reaching an agreement on the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GlaSS) to meet Africa’s adaptation needs and associated costs. Advocate for stronger commitments and actions on adaptation finance; with clear outcomes to match the annual cost of adaptation in developing countries estimated to range from$140 billion to $300 billion by 2030.

3. Global Stocktake (GST)

For Africa, the GST process provides specific opportunities to link addressing the ambition gap to leapfrogging its development, capitalizing on its significant endowment of land, natural resources, and untapped renewable energy potential. Given high levels of energy poverty on the continent, and the current levels of dependence on consumption of biomass for cooking and heating, there is a significant energy gap that must be filled through the provision of modern climate-friendly technologies.

4. Clear operationalization for Loss and Damage funding facility

Africa should push for an ambitious outcome on loss and damage and ensure a solution for financing within the climate negotiations. A loss and damage finance facility should be established under the UNFCCC financial mechanism with a dedicated fund and be included as an element of the New Collective Quantified Goal, in addition to mitigation and adaptation finance.

5. Tangible finance commitments

Last year, at COP27, parties agreed to increase financing to facilitate global transformations to a low-carbon economy. This requires at least $4 trillion to $6 trillion a year. Unfortunately, developed countries still have not fulfilled their pledged $100billion since Copenhagen. At the African Climate Summit, African leaders reiterated their demand for developed countries to not only deliver on their promise of US$100 billion annually, but also for an overhaul of the global financial architecture to meet Africa’s needs. They equally called for the doubling of climate adaptation financing by 2025. It is important to note that only about 4–8% of all climate finance has been allocated to adaptation investments[2]. This significant financing gap needs to be addressed on apriority basis.

 6. Food systems approach for a resilient people and nature and 1.5°C world
African governments must elevate the topic of climate change and food systems on the COP28 agenda. This accelerates efforts on food loss and waste and sustainable agriculture that reduce emissions and enhance the resilience of food systems. Adaptation is urgent: Adapting Africa’s food systems to climate change is NOT a choice. Discussions on food systems should consider securing the most impacted sources of food for vulnerable communities, such as land, water, and related biodiversity like fish and seed. Holistic actions are needed in integrated land and water management systems to reverse biodiversity loss and restore degraded areas.
7.Shifting to renewable energy and ensuring affordable energy access
For COP28; Parties should reiterate their commitment to support Africa in phasing out fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), using just transition principles in a timely manner to meet its needs based on its strong supply of wind, sun, hydropower, and even geothermal resources, which offer great potential for deployment and investment. Misplaced and expensive investments in fossil fuels will be obsolete in a few years as the climate crisis worsens and fossil fuel companies potentially lose their social license to operate.
8. Strengthening the climate-nature narrative and recognition of the role of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) inmitigation and adaptation
Africa should reiterate the importance of leveraging the role of NbS in addressing the climate urgency and reducing the vulnerability of Africa’s people and biodiversity to climate change.
9. Africa’s special needs and circumstances
The contribution of the continent towards global climate regulation, for example by the Congo Basin as a carbon sink, needs to be recognized and commensurate resources need to be allocated towards its protection. Africa’s special needs and circumstances owing to high levels of poverty, unemployment, and underdevelopment, should be recognised globally. This would contribute to unlocking the necessary financial flow to Africa as it embarks on a just transition to a future powered by renewable energy expansion.
10. Building a Climate-Resilient Future for Africa with the Youth
Africa’s youthful population is its greatest asset, and COP28 provides an opportunity to harness this demographic for climate action. In line with the resolutions from recent youth-focused assemblies, the African Climate Summit (ACS), and official continental forums; we urge COP28 to prioritize youth-centric engagement.

Read the entire paper here: UNFCCC COP28 Expectation Paper