Advocating for candid discussion and actionable measures at COP28

The African Climate Foundation (ACF) positions COP28 as a pivotal moment for the African continent, emphasising the need for candid discussions and clear, measurable action.

The ACF looks forward to a COP that not only propels ambitious mitigation action, but that results in meaningful and equitable progress on all fronts including the Global Stocktake, adaptation, finance, and loss and damage. Notwithstanding the geopolitical and economic tensions that have beset the world this year, the ACF trusts that COP28 will both address and rise above them to drive substantial progress for Africa through actionable measures that deliver ambition and accountability.

The ACF supports African countries in their calls for meaningful progress on the implementation of the principles and obligations enshrined in Paris Agreement and UNFCCC. The Foundation views the Global Stocktake as a critical component on this and trusts that COP28 will deliver an outcome that charts an equitable, ambitious and implementable pathway that anchors transformative action over the next five years. To chart a course for the future also requires the acknowledgement of the reasons for historic failures, and the ensuing implementation gaps.

To this end, the ACF notes appreciation for partners that have dedicatedly committed themselves to the development of the Global Stocktake’s technical summary and associated draft texts that have set out both the reasons for historic gaps and proposals on the way forward. The Foundation trusts that negotiators will engage with these texts and agree on an outcome that spurs ambitious action on all fronts in a manner that avoids shifting the mitigation and the cost of the adaptation burden to African countries.

COP28 once again presents a moment to agree on meaningful emission reduction measures and targets that are applied equitably and lead to a just transition. However, these measures must overall reduce Africa’s vulnerability to climate change, not exacerbate it. To be achievable and to avoid regressive effects, the ACF notes that any new targets must go hand in hand with climate finance reforms; scaled up integrated support packages such as the Just Energy Transition Partnerships; measures that foster and enable local economic development, and the policy space for African countries to pursue dual climate and development objectives.

The ACF urges for open and frank discussion within the UNFCCC and its dedicated forums about mitigation response measures, particularly the impact of unilateral trade measures on African and other developing countries. These measures pose a particular threat to the realisation of Africa’s sustainable development goals and the health of its economies, as illustrated in the ACF’s join report with LSE’s Firoz Lalji Institute on the implications of the Europe Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism on Africa’s Trade.

Furthermore, the ACF considers that it is politically essential for Africa that COP28 achieves meaningful progress on adaptation. The Foundation hopes to see adaptation gain the same political traction that mitigation has and emphasises the importance for a decision on the global goal on adaptation (GGA) to be reached.

To be meaningful for Africa, the GGA must be sufficiently robust with quantified time bound targets that can form the basis for tracking implementation and support, set a future trajectory for action, and a basis for assessing progress. Food systems, agriculture and biodiversity are a critical component of this, and the ACF trusts that these important sectors for the African economy will not only be addressed within the GGA but across the various COP work programmes. Africa also requires development space and adequate, predictable and accessible means of implementation and support for its adaptation planning and implementation efforts.

As an organisation, the ACF is pleased to be supporting the development of country-led national Adaptation and Resilience Investment Platforms (ARIPs). ARIPs aim to provide in-country support to assist African governments in adopting a transformative approach to climate adaptation (one that enhances both climate and economic resilience). In particular, ARIPs would mobilise funding at scale and in a sustainable manner for prioritised climate adaptation and resilience measures. This can attract and support the necessary finance at scale and work towards dual GGA proposed objectives both in relation to adaptation planning and finance.

The ACF is enthusiastic to see COP28 progress the momentum built around climate finance reform, through the advancement of the detailed and specific proposals made by African countries in 2023. The ACF is proud to have contributed to this thought leadership through its work on the Equitable Reform of the Global Financial System. In this regard, the Foundation hopes to see meaningful discussion and outcomes on multiple fronts such as the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance, the delivery on existing climate finance pledges
and burden sharing agreements for the future provision of finance. In addition, the ACF also hopes for a political signal on the reform of the global finance system to deliver more affordable finance and debt restructuring. This must be achieved in a manner that unlocks equitable international financing flows, while preserving the fiscal sovereignty of developing countries to pursue development pathways unique to their circumstances.

Lastly, the ACF eagerly awaits a robust COP28 decision that progresses the recommendations made by the Loss and Damage Transitional Committee, to create a Loss and Damage Fund that is fit for purpose. Early on in COP28, the Foundation anticipates countries coming forward with sizable pledges to the fund, and for its longevity to be secured through firm obligations regarding Fund contributions.

The ACF looks forward to engaging with its partners, grantees and collaborators at COP28 – collectively working towards such goals. The Foundation also thanks its wider community that has co-created the African led networks, research and knowledge products that have contributed to the inputs into and hopefully also the outcomes of COP28. The ACF notes with utmost importance, climate justice, equity, human rights and the commitment to transparency and accountability for COP28 and beyond.

For more information and media requests connect with Kelly Easton on [email protected]

Visit our COP28 Resource Library.

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