Africa Climate Talks (ACT!) Is back. The second session of the third edition of the Very Intensive Africa Climate Talks (ACT!) Ended on May 18, 2021. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in partnership with the University of Cabo Verde, hosted the elaborate two-day calendar that brought together over 120 participants, representing key climate voices and actors in Africa.
The third Africa Climate Talks (ACT!) Is part of a series of ECA‘s African Climate Policy Center (ACPC) webinars on “Climate Change and Development in Africa: African Perspectives on Climate Resilient Recovery in Africa. from COVID-19 ”. This edition took place virtually.
Launched in 2015, the African climate talks serve as a forum for global dialogue on climate change and development. This climate meeting serves as a space for dialogue for continental stakeholders to engage in open speeches aimed at catalyzing emerging African perspectives on the most pressing concerns related to climate change and development.
“The focus of the 3rd Africa Climate Negotiations explored the convergence of COVID-19 and climate crises and what this means for vulnerable communities and global governance and climate action during and beyond the pandemic . Said Jean-Paul Adam, director of the Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management Division of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
According to Adam, the second session of the 3rd ACT! innovated in particular for African Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by questioning ideas for building resilient economies through green and blue economic lanes. African island countries have braved the economic downturn as their tourism sectors depressed due to travel restrictions from the pandemic. Island states also face threats of ocean acidification and sea level rise.
The deliberations and resolutions of this very engaging forum contribute to the achievement of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through climate resilient development.
James Murombedzi, who heads the African Center for Climate Policy (ACPC), noted that the ACT! brings together African universities, civil society, the private sector, regional institutions and development partners to stimulate a pan-African discourse aimed at contributing to the consolidation of African discourse on how to better respond to climate change in the COVID era -19 and beyond.
The ACT 2021 congregation! The forum takes place against the backdrop of the unprecedented social and economic challenges associated with the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Murombedzi, the centerpiece of ACT! discussions focused on the global triple storm of Covid-19, climate change and economic deceleration. Solutions offering low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, decent jobs and alternative sustainable development pathways pursuing the objective of the Paris Agreement have been ACT’s strengths! deliberations.
“There are many similarities between the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate change crisis, as well as some important divergences.” Said Murombedzi. “Both crises pose an existential threat to Africa and suffer from the consequences of disinformation and ‘infodemics’.
According to Murombedzi, the third ACT! tried to find out how the lessons and experiences of managing the Covid-19 pandemic can be leveraged to promote a resilient green and blue recovery. He also sought to find pathways for Africa’s post-pandemic climate-conscious reconstruction through concerted global partnerships, solidarity and a strong multilateral framework.
This year’s ACT is significant as the Atlantic Ocean island nation Cabo Verde will host the first continental climate platform, the Ninth Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-IX) which will be held from August 23 to 27, 2021.
The organizational framework for the second session of the Third Africa Climate Talks included five focus groups to facilitate the consolidation of key messages. The first group looked at what Africa should seek to benefit from COP 26, and how this can be done. Africa’s voice and action in global climate governance and the geopolitical landscape – lessons from Africa’s journey through the UNFCCC process for the COVID-19 era and beyond was the main task of the second group. The third group reflected on building resilience and innovative ideas for African solutions to Africa’s climate and recovery challenges. The constitution of climate justice and a just recovery as well as the transition for Africa was the mandate of the fourth group. The final group addressed the issue of harnessing the green and blue economy for African SIDS and coastal economies as well as the challenges and opportunities beyond COVID-19.
How to achieve and secure the means for a holistic implementation of durable solutions, based on the solid foundation of the UNFCCC, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities of countries were also the main pillars of discussion at this session of the talks. .
Strengthening Africa’s voice and action in global climate governance and the resulting geopolitical landscape in the COVID-19 era and beyond is one of the three expected outcomes of the second session of the third climate negotiations in Africa. The second expected outcome is a better understanding of how to harness the links between climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis to build a green and resilient future in Africa beyond the pandemic. The expected end result is the strengthening of regional strategies and global frameworks for a just transition to resilient economies and the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“The act! Forum is a series of scholar-led spaces for dialogue that aim to stimulate broad discourse informed by new common African positions on relevant issues at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change governance processes, says Murombedzi.