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September 1, 2023
The UN Africa Climate Week and the inaugural Africa Climate Summit will both take place during September 4-8, 2023, in Nairobi, Kenya. ACW is an annual UN Regional Climate Week that brings together policymakers, public and private sector representatives, and CSOs to discuss climate-related challenges. In 2023, ACW will work in parallel with the inaugural ACS, which will bring together heads of state from across the continent. The Summit will also convene other international leaders, notably Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley and President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. It is expected that leaders will work towards an agreed-upon roadmap for collective climate action, which will be detailed in a Nairobi Declaration on Green Growth and Climate Finance Agenda and Solutions for Africa and the World. Both the ACW and ACS will pick up key issues discussed in Paris at the New Global Financing Pact Summit in June 2023, and talks in Nairobi are expected to build momentum ahead of COP28 in Dubai in November 2023.
Each event is organized by thematic tracks including climate finance, just energy transition, adaptation and resilience, sustainable infrastructure and urbanization, natural capital, and sustainable agriculture, land and water use, among others. To help advocates prepare for both events, the Donor Tracker team has prepared a brief pre-read for climate advocates on what to expect from the climate week.
Leaders, especially those representing LMICs, have increasingly called for the reform of the international financial architecture to better support countries most vulnerable to climate change. This includes more concessional finance for climate and development projects, better SDR reallocation for LMICs, and better debt management to increase the fiscal space of affected countries. The 11th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa, which will take place the weekend before the climate summit, has highlighted in its concept note the lack of financial resources as the key challenge when translating climate ambition into action.
Approximately half of the continent’s population relies on the agricultural sector as a source of income, one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change . ACS has highlighted climate adaptation and resilience as a cross-cutting lever of the proposed Green Growth Framework. The African Adaptation Acceleration Programme, led by the AfDB and the Global Center on Adaptation, has set the goal of mobilizing US$25 billion to scale up innovative actions for climate adaptation across the continent.
A just energy transition involves moving from a reliance on fossil fuels towards mainly renewable energy sources, while also ensuring that those affected by this transition are not left behind. Africa has the potential to provide 40% of global renewable energy. The need to increase the share of renewable energy across the continent, while also ensuring that this does not negatively impact economic growth and increased energy access for local populations, will be high on the agenda in Nairobi. Leaders are also expected to highlight the key role the private sector needs to play in investing in clean projects and leveraging the continent’s massive renewable energy potential.
As African countries seek to grow their renewable energy capacity, the processing of CRMs such as cobalt and lithium, and their use in the local manufacturing of environmental goods such as wind turbines and solar panels, has been highlighted as a core growth area in the proposed ACS Green Growth Agenda. Experts estimate that the continent possesses 30-40% of the CRMs needed for the global green energy transition. Discussions around green manufacturing will be combined with the need for improved national and regional value chains, leveraging the recently established African Continental Free Trade Area to boost trade in environmental goods across the continent and further afield.
The ACS, according to its concept note, will work to ‘ensure Africa’s voice is elevated globally and integrated into existing international fora such as UNGA, G7/ G20 processes, and UNFCCC COP28 among others’. With the recent enlargement of the BRICS to include Egypt and Ethiopia, as well as the AU’s expected admission to the G20 during the upcoming summit in India, the priorities of African countries, and LMICs more broadly, are expected become more and more centered in international climate and development discussions going forward.
Stayed tuned for Donor Tracker’s post-event summary of ACW and ACS.
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