Accra, 22 March, GNA - Participants at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Accra have taken time to deliberate on Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.
The cyclone affected more than two million people – a stark reminder of the moral imperative to act on climate change, which experts said was exacerbating such storms.
A statement issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra noted that delegates attending the Climate Week observed a minute silence for the victims of the catastrophe, which continued to devastate coastlines along Southern Africa.
The media, policymakers and private sector representatives huddled into the Main Hall to welcome the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who said, against the backdrop of the disastrous cyclone, Africa Climate Week must “provide more practical solutions to channel financial means towards national climate ambition.”
According to the statement, the International Finance Corporation had already put a figure on the investment opportunity of financing the solutions, estimating that 21 emerging market economies alone represents $23 trillion by 2030.
The statement said that The President – who is both the host of the event and an Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – also used his speech to underscore how “climate change was a threat to the attainment of the whole development agenda.” It added.
This critical interlinkage between the climate and development agendas was a recurring theme throughout the course of Wednesday’s high-level activities – and echoed by many pan-African Ministers – but it was perhaps best expressed by the Mayor of Accra and C40 Chair, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, who said: “I am committing our city to a plan in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and, simultaneously, in line with the SDGs.”
The statement said the overriding message on the Regional Climate Week, was that ‘this ‘bright and happy future’ will be largely compromised without the proper financing, which also needs to be de-risked to encourage flows of finance to the 54 African nations.’
“There are some positive signals: the World Bank last week announced $22.5 billion over 2021-2025 in climate support in Africa – a commitment which acted as a precursor to their co-hosting of a ‘Carbon Pricing Day’ on the margins of the Africa Climate Week, highlighting how innovative policies and programmes can mobilise climate investments, drive social benefits, and reduce carbon pollutions.
“This reality-check was softened somewhat with the launch of the Mohammed VI Prize for Climate and Sustainable Development – timed between the two main plenary events – which Deputy Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Ovais Sarmad, stated is a clear example of how “African leadership will benefit the whole world, leaving no one behind, in particular, the most vulnerable.”
Africa Climate Week will conclude on Friday afternoon, where its outcomes will be presented to the Special Envoy for UN Climate Action Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba, as critical input to the Secretary General’s event on 23 September.
Africa Climate Week is the first of three annual regional climate events this year – the latter two being the Latin America & Caribbean Climate Week and the Asia Pacific Climate Week information around each of the events will be released.
The Africa Climate Week is being orchestrated by a number of core partners, including; World Bank Group, African Development Bank, West African Development Bank, CTCN, UNEP, UNEP DTU Partnership, UNDP, IETA, Marrakech Partnership and UN Climate Change.