COP 26: Africa's Priorities

November 04, 2021 | by: David Kodjani

The President of the United States hosted theon April 22 and 23, 2021 Leaders' Climate Summit. According to the White House, the summit aimed to "galvanize the efforts of major economies to deal with the climate crisis." Leaders from 40 countries, including five from Africa, participated in this virtual event.

This event was an important step ahead of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is currently being held in Glasgow 2021.

The five African leaders who attended the Leaders' Summit stressed the indispensable role the continent must play in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limit global warming to 1, 5 degree Celsius.

The situation in Africa deserves special attention: the continent contributes only 4% to total global GHG emissions, the lowest percentage of all regions, and yet its socio-economic development is threatened. by the climate crisis. In other words, Africa is the continent which produces the fewest emissions, but which bears the brunt of the consequences. For example, in addition to the effects of the climate crisis such as food insecurity, population displacement and water scarcity, more than half of African countries are susceptible to climate-related conflicts.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, annual adaptation costs in developing countries, currently estimated at $ 70 billion, will rise to $ 300 billion by 2030 and $ 500 billion by 2050. At the same time, African governments currently devote between 2% and 9% of their GDP to finance adaptation programs.

At COP26 in Glasgow, countries will launch an adaptation goal and adopt a strategy to achieve this goal. Glasgow therefore provides an opportunity to recognize and take into account Africa's unique needs and circumstances. There are several ways to achieve this according to Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale, President of the African group of negotiators on climate change under the UNFCCC :

  • Developed countries must avoid transferring their climate responsibilities, especially with regard to their cumulative emissions. of GHGs, to developing countries. In addition, developed economies must lead the way by setting clear targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
  • Based on the commitments and obligations under Article 4 of the UNFCCC, developed countries must mobilize and provide adequate financial resources for the climate and transfer environmentally friendly technologies to African countries.
  • The COVID-19 crisis must not derail the climate finance agenda. A more gradual and large-scale multilateral response is needed to address the climate crisis, and finance is at the heart of it. At COP26, countries must agree on a financial architecture, including an agreement on pursuing long-term climate finance (LTF) under the UNFCCC. This should be in addition to the launch of a new funding target under the Paris climate agreement.
  • Developed countries must commit to closing their pre-2020 climate finance gap of $ 100 billion. This $ 100 billion a year must be the floor, not the ceiling, and continued efforts must be made to identify and meet the needs and priorities of developing countries.
  • At COP26, negotiators must recognize that the conditional parts of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) represent the most ambitious contributions to the Paris Agreement on climate change, and that they require climate finance resources that should be accessible through bilateral and multilateral channels.
  • Finally, Africa needs additional support for its initiatives, notably the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) and the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI). The continent needs grants, not just loans that increase its debt burden. Rising debt and the COVID-19 pandemic have weakened the ability of poor countries to cope with the climate crisis.

Africa's priorities for COP26 thus include adaptation, climate finance, a market mechanism, ambitious NDCs, a transparency mechanism, meeting mitigation commitments before 2020 and recognizing needs and circumstances. unique to Africa.

"It will be Africa's turn to host COP27. It will take place in November 2022 in Egypt. The success of COP26 will give Africa the necessary impetus to prepare for the next COP. Africa is keen to join forces with developed countries to guarantee an ambitious outcome at COP26. We cannot afford to fail. " It is with these words that the president of the African group of negotiators on climate change within the framework of the UNFCCC, Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale, ended his analysis on the priorities of his continent in relation to the COP26 to which he naturally decided. participated.

5 solutions to combat climate change

BNP Paribas Asset Management has joined forces with the GoodPlanet Foundation to share useful information and the right reflexes to adopt in order to contribute to the objective set by the Paris agreements. Here are some tips and advice simple to better understand the challenges of global warming and reduce our daily CO2 emissions.

  1. Fight against deforestation!

Certain labels guarantee sustainable forest management. By purchasing products (paper, furniture, etc.) bearing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or European Certified Forest Program (PEFC) label, we can help preserve forests and thus limit anthropogenic GHG emissions.

  1. Preserve the oceans!

To fight climate change, we must preserve the oceans. For this, each of us can act on a daily basis. For example, we can buy environmentally friendly household products to avoid dumping polluting chemicals into the oceans.

  1. Consume clean energy!

To reduce our impact on the climate on a daily basis, we can choose clean energy from renewable resources. More and more energy suppliers are encouraging their development: let's promote them as soon as possible to reduce our daily GHG emissions.

  1. Reduce energy consumption!

An energy label classifies products according to their energy consumption. This classification is symbolized by a letter. The most energy efficient and therefore the most environmentally friendly are rated A +, A ++ and even A +++! For example, an A ++ rated appliance consumes 45% less energy than an A rated appliance.

  1. Sort the waste!

The best waste is the one that we do not produce! There are many solutions for this: questioning the need for our purchases, favoring products in bulk or without overpacking, preferring eco-refills, etc.

Source: Africa Renewal, BNP Paribas

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