08 September 2021, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Plans for the premier continental climate summit, the ninth Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-IX) slated for mid-September are complete.
“Towards a Just Transition that delivers job, prosperity and climate resilience in Africa: Leveraging the green and blue economy” is the agreed theme for CCDA-IX which will be hosted on Sal Island, in the Atlantic Ocean island nation of Cabo Verde. “Just Transition” which refers to deliberate shifts of investments to climate resilient, environmentally and socially sustainable economies is the focus of the much-awaited conference that sets the tone and bolsters Africa’s position and participation in the forthcoming UN climate talks in the United Kingdom.
It is instructive to note that CCDA-IX takes place six-weeks before the world converges in Glasgow for the global Conference of Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In addition, it takes place four weeks after the release of the IPCC Working Group I report.
Expectations are high that a landmark outcome will emerge from Glasgow accelerating climate action on contentious issues such as increased ambitions on curbing emissions, financing for adaptation and mitigation in developing countries as well as technology transfer.
“Africa’s economy of the future must be resilient to risks of further climate change and ecological damage. By prioritizing nature-based solutions and advocating for a fair developmental price for carbon at the Glasgow Conference of Parties, there is opportunity to mobilise further resources for Africa’s Green and Blue recovery” Jean-Paul Adam the Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says. “Although Africa is not amongst the largest emitters in the world, it is already impacted by rising temperatures. Any recovery must incorporate resilience and adaptation to build back better and avoid having to direct future resources to disaster relief rather than productive investments.”
The importance of Africa’s position at the COP26 negotiations has been accorded the prime slot within the CCDA-IX programme. “Given the importance of the COP26, and the need to galvanise Africa’s positions and key asks going to the COP, it has been decided that the format for the CCDA this year should be a higher level policy-focus.” A communique from ClimDev-Africa (Climate for Development in Africa) program who acts as the CCDA-Secretariat says.
ClimDev-Africa Programme is an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). It derives its operational mandate from the AU Summit of Heads of State and Government, which is the highest decision making organ for the continent. ClimDev-Africa was established in 2010 “to create a solid foundation for Africa’s response to climate change.” The secretariat of this pan-African institution is at the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), which serves as ECA’s analytical and technical climate change policy think-tank. Beyond the AUC-ECA-AfDB partnership, ClimDev-Africa works closely with other African and non-African institutions and partners specialised in climate and development.
In convening the Ninth CCDA-IX, ClimDev-Africa is collaborating with Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and the host Government of Cabo Verde among other multilateral partners.
According to ClimDev-Africa the main focus for discussion at this year’s high level segment will be a special session dedicated to Africa’s journey to COP26 with an aim of ensuring a just transition alongside a multilateral climate framework that delivers for the continent. The keynote addresses will offer emerging insights on the Paris Agreement and the key issues for Africa as well as the bold proposals put forward by ECA earlier in the year as articulated in its groundbreaking statement Building forward for African Green Recovery Report. Also featuring prominently in this year’s conference is the “leveraging of green and blue economy to build the resilience of African Small Island Developing States (SIDS).”
Amplifying the benefits of green and blue economy and augmenting resilience of the continent’s island developing states has been a key influence to the organizers as they selected Cabo Verde to host this summit. This is the first time that this all-important continental climate conference will be hosted in an island nation.
According to the ClimDev-Africa Secretariat, another milestone for CCDA is that since its inception in 2011 this will be the first time that the Small Islands Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA Pathway) will be mainstreamed as a special conference theme. The SAMOA Pathway is an outcome document of the Third International Conference on SIDS held in Apia, Samoa in September 2014, and having it as a reference issue at the conference helps fortify the values of blue and green economies and their convergence in attaining sustainable development goals and fulfill the aspirations of Agenda2063.
“The core themes will be complemented by parallel tracks organized by strategic sectors related to climate change notably blue economy; energy; agriculture, finance, technology, health and nature based solutions (NbS).” Says Jean-Paul Adam, Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division of ECA.
Other issues to be discussed at CCDA-IX include opportunities and challenges for the emerging carbon markets, investments and uptake of climate information services. Financing of the ambitious African nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the continent’s energy transformation as well as green recovery and nature based solutions among others will also feature in the conference planned for 13-17 September.
According to James Murombedzi, who heads the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), the discussions during the tracks sessions will contribute to the overarching themes, whose conclusions will be incorporated in the final declaration of CCDA-IX. “This will culminate in a call-to-action which will be widely disseminated and taken to the high-level global climate events notably the COP26 in Glasgow, UK later in November,” Murombedzi says.
CCDA-IX brings together a wide coalition of stakeholders and interested constituencies, including policymakers, technocrats, parliamentarians, the African Group of Negotiators on climate change; academia, climate scientists, civil societies, women groups and even indigenous representation. Other notable stakeholders who will grace the conference includes development partners, local municipalities, humanitarian agencies, multilateral development agencies, international organisations and the private sector.
Further information on CCDA-IX is available at: www.uneca.org/ccda9