Africa Needs To Work Closer Together On Climate Action And Sustainable Development


African countries must work closer together when implementing national climate action plans under the Paris Climate Change Agreement and mobilizing climate finance, whilst better integrating climate action into sustainable development planning. This was the key conclusion of ministers and key delegates who convened for the Africa Carbon Forum which ended today in Cotonou, Benin.

Over 600 practitioners, experts and policy makers, including ministers from governments across Africa and other high level participants, met in Cotonou to take stock and align strategies on how financial resources should be mobilized to ensure sustainable development and emissions reduction on a continent-wide scale.

“Africa is the continent most affected by climate change. Two thirds of Africans make their living off the land, consequently, it is critical that the continent secures a climate-resilient economic and development path. Hosting this Africa Carbon Forum on the topic of collaborative climate actions for sustainable development demonstrates Benin’s own commitment to the national climate action plans and the broader concern of Africa to promote collective actions for the climate,” said Abdoulaye Bio Tchane, Senior Minister in charge of Planning and Development of Benin.

With ambitious commitments already made by countries under the Paris Agreement, and with more commitments expected, African ministers and other leaders stressed the importance of building momentum that will enable the transformation shift towards low carbon and greater resilience to climate change. They also highlighted the need for new partnerships to develop and further spur sustainable development.

Speaking to delegates in Cotonou, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, said:

“Africa will see explosive growth through to the middle of the century. Not only that – Africa is one of the most important engines for growth worldwide in the coming years. African people are at the core of this growth. But the growth needs to be shaped on the basis of related climate and sustainable development criteria. Africa’s nationally determined contributions to the agreement are blueprints for attracting private sector investment and pushing forward. Implementation of the Paris Agreement is the foundation for stability, for security and prosperity as the population grows to 9 billion people or more by 2050. It is food and water and energy for everyone. It is good jobs. It is the foundation for building sustainable, resilient communities powered by clean, renewable energy.”

Moving forward, the Africa Carbon Forum is developing into the regional climate action event supporting, in conjunction with Global Climate Action events, non-government (“non-Party”) stakeholder action in the run-up to the annual UNFCCC Conference of the Parties.