The African Climate Foundation Urges Comprehensive Action at Inaugural African Climate Summit

The African Climate Foundation (ACF) anticipates that Africa Climate Week and Africa Climate Summit will give voice to African priorities, perspectives and solutions, whilst galvanising concerted action and framing to unite Africa’s continental position. To this end, the ACF voices its support to actions in the following areas: 

The Summit’s Imperative: Climate Resilient Transformation 

Climate resilience is inseparable from socio-economic transformation. The ACF looks forward to dialogue that advocates for a proactive approach that goes beyond minimising the negative impacts of climate change. This involves developing pathways to change that create added economic, social and environmental value and drive fundamental changes to existing systems. 

The ACF’s Perspective: Climate Change is Integral to Africa’s Development 

The ACF holds the narrative that climate change is not simply an issue of environmental vulnerability, but an integral part of Africa’s development agenda. Therefore, it looks forward to proposals and solutions from the convening that harness Africa’s immense potential 

“With the right frameworks and adequate investment, the continent is poised to become the material backbone of the new green growth paradigm. The continent has profound assets, including land for sustainable agriculture, forests for carbon sequestration, vast renewable energy resources, and 30% of the world’s transition minerals,” says ACF executive director Saliem Fakir.  

A Holistic Approach to Climate Resilience: All Hands on Deck 

Beyond governments, all sectors of society, including the private sector, philanthropies, civil society and local and indigenous communities have an integral role to play in delivering on climate and development objectives. Greater collaboration within the ecosystem of stakeholders will be needed to support policy engagement, mobilise the capacity of non-state actors and channel sufficient resources towards social, economic and climate resilience. To this end, the ACF embraces a Summit that advances new equitable partnerships that address the climate crisis and drive the continent’s development agenda.   

Food, Agriculture and Nature: A Cornerstone of Sustainable Development 

With agriculture being a critical source of income for nearly half of Africa’s employed population, the Foundation hopes this African-based convening will bring to the fore and actively addressing the sector’s vulnerability to climate change and its potential to foster resilient green growth, food security and improved livelihoods. The ACF, therefore, hopes for innovative solutions and outcomes that harness Africa’s vast agricultural potential responsibly and sustainably, coupled with measures to conserve and restore its rich biodiversity.   

Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy: Africa’s Opportunity 

“The ACF welcomes the Summit’s focus on Africa’s abundant renewable energy potential and awaits solutions and outcomes that foster a rapid increase in investment in renewable energy projects in Africa, ensuring a just and equitable energy transition,” says Fakir. 

Green Transition Minerals: Balancing Opportunity and Responsibility 

The ACF trusts that policies and incentives will be explored to attract local value addition of Africa’s abundant green transition minerals while balancing the environmental and social impacts of mining. Resources and commitments in support of localisation should strengthen production ecosystems, strategies for technology and skills transfer, and create quality jobs.   

Bridging the Finance and Investment Gaps in Critical Sectors  

New forms of liquidity and the expansion and lowering of the cost of public and private capital are required to fundamentally shape the continent’s ability to achieve transformative and climate resilient growth. This inaugural Summit is an opportunity to ensure continued momentum on transforming the international financial architecture, its structures and processes. The ACF especially hopes this discussion moves beyond incremental reforms of multilateral development banks, towards liquidity and debt relief.  

In line with the Summit’s climate finance and investment agenda, the ACF anticipates clear and concrete pathways to scale innovative finance instruments, mechanisms and tools that can attract climate smart investments, whilst ensuring African countries do not incur further unsustainable debt.  

Adaptation and Resilience: Protecting the Vulnerable 

Recognising Africa’s unique vulnerabilities to climate change, the ACF welcomes the Summit’s focus on scaling adaptation on the continent. To achieve this, adaptation actions need to simultaneously build resilience to climate impacts whilst supporting economic and social development goals, in a manner that builds on indigenous and local knowledge and expertise. This requires significant investments in adaptation and resilience building and innovative means to advance these at scale.  

To achieve this, the Foundation anticipates global cooperation that ensures the provision of adequate, predictable, new and additional adaptation finance, which also creates the necessary fiscal space for African countries to prioritise these measures within their own budgetary processes. It also requires creative measures to sustainably mobilise adaptation funding built on policy and planning instruments that chart sectoral adaptation pathways and a pipeline of bankable projects.  

International Cooperation and Fair Trade 

The ACF looks forward to Summit outcomes that promote African leadership and participation in global multilateral institutions and systems. Particularly, solutions that work towards an informed, evidence based, collaborative and multilateral approach to climate and trade that confronts and mitigates the anticipated negative impacts of unilateral and discriminatory trade measures on African economies and societies.   

The Foundation further welcomes the evolution of the global trading system in a manner that afford African countries the necessary policy space to further integrate within green global value and supply chains both as suppliers and exporters of primary products but as producers of intermediary and final goods. 

A Commitment to Justice and Equity: The Heart of the Matter 

Finally, the Summit and Climate Week offer an opportunity to provide a uniquely African lens to inclusion and equity, ensuring that the most vulnerable are not left behind.  

“We welcome efforts by the host to facilitate collaboration amongst all participants to achieve an outcome that is co-created and supported by all,” says Fakir. 

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