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Africa Climate Week: Accessing Finance for Climate Action

Access to finance remains critical for vulnerable African countries to take climate action.

Ghana, for instance, requires $22.6billion in investments to implement climate mitigation and adaptation actions.

While countries are expected to commit national resources in undertaking climate mitigation and adaptation, overcoming the climate scourge will demand huge international support to efficiently implement the nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

The NDCs are efforts each country makes to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been established as a critical avenue to mobilize financial resources to address the challenge of climate change.

Activated in 2010, the GCF operates as the financial mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to support the efforts in developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change.

Support to developing countries is to facilitate limiting their greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.

So far, developed nations have pledged to provide a current target of $100billion by 2020.

The last UN Climate Conference in Katowice, Poland, did not achieve new financial commitments but urged countries to deliver on their pledges.

According to Dr. Samson Samuel Ogallah, Solidaridad Network Senior Climate Specialist for Africa, until the pledges are converted to commitments and contributions, it cannot be said that resources have been attained for climate action.

“We’ve heard countries pledge big amounts but some of the pledges are never converted into contributions which become a challenge in the implementation of real action on the ground,” he observed.

The US, for instance, pledged $3billion but managed to convert $1.5billion during the Obama administration. The other part of the fund never materialized in the Trump administration.

Other contributed funds also go through bureaucracies and approval processes with a chunk of the Fund going into consultancy, and leaving a pittance for climate action on the grounds.

Concerned about the minimal civil society participation o in the design, implementation and evaluation of climate projects, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and Care International held a day’s workshop on the sidelines of the Africa Climate Week with a focus on sustainable financing for climate action.

Executive Director of PACJA, Mithika Mwenda, noted that “as representatives of the people and communities on the ground, civil society organizations are very important in any action on climate change, including finance. The Green Climate Fund must be people-driven, people-responsive fund which funds things that cannot be financed by the conventional banks like the World Bank”.

The Accra dialogue, involving 15 countries in Africa, acknowledged the proper and broader engagement of stakeholders in GCF processes can help most African countries develop fundable proposal which can enhance resilience of vulnerable communities and bring about paradigm shift in the entire process.

“The GCF is designed to address the needs of people at the local level, involving small holder farmers, pastoralist communities, labour movement, women and the youth,” Mithika noted.

He said PACJA is undertaking extensive training and outreach to demystify the Green Climate Fund as an instrument to support agriculture, transport and other economic activities.

But Funds available through the GCF and Global Environmental Facility (GEF), among other financial mechanisms, are currently inadequate to meet the global needs for climate solutions.

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), African countries need $3trillion by 2030 to implement their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets.

Regional Principal Officer of AfDB, Dr. Olufunso Somorin, said 75percent of the amount will be leveraged from the private sector.

He therefore believes CSOs have a role in brokering increased engagement of the private sector in climate financing.

“The low resourcing of GCF is a concern,” he said. “Attracting private sector investment is a long-term solution”.

Long term engagement of CSO’s towards strengthening broader societal support for transformation and increase accountability of national authorities is critical to achieve GCF paradigms of low-emissions and climate-resilient economies and societies.

By Kofi Adu Domfeh

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Civil society and indigenous forest communities have expressed concerns over the accelerating decline of forests in African countries, and called on drastic measures to reverse the trend. 

Around 100 participants from 20 forest-dependent countries across Africa are meeting alongside the “African Climate Week” organised by the UN to share experiences and  exchange ideas on various efforts spearheaded by governments to address deforestation and forest degradation, popularly known as REDD, in Africa.

Welcoming the participants during the meeting, the Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Mithika Mwenda decried the inertia in some governments, but appreciated innovative mechanisms that are being put in place to promote forest preservation.

He particularly pointed at the mechanisms Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) funded by the World Bank to support forest programmes in support of the global call for action against climate change.

It is not enough to agree, sign and adopt the Paris Climate Agreement,” he emphasised, “it is important to move beyond it and take action at local level, at communities we come from.”

“Climate Justice Movement is growing tremendously and we see how it is being energised by young people across the world,” he said, noting that this is the only way to bequeath a better planet to the next generation.

“It is our desire to contribute at this ACW and share our perspectives on the climate solutions and how they impact our livelihoods and environment,” he added.

Joseph Ole Simel, the Executive Director of the Indigenous organisation, Mainyoto Peoples Integrated Development organisation (MPIDO), which is co-hosting the meeting with PACJA, reiterated the strength in the collaboration among organisations and people sharing common heritage and challenges.

“The impact of climate change is affecting the vulnerable communities we represent here and thus we need to be very proactive as we cannot be spectators anymore,” he said, adding that Indigenous people in Africa will continue with such collaborative efforts until their visibility and impact is assured. “So far we are doing very well but I think we must do more”, he noted.

The workshop will facilitate regional exchange to encourage first-hand learning and sharing of experiences from civil society and forest-dependen IPs engagement in REDD+ processes, and from the Capacity Building Project being implemented by PACJA and MPIDO

The meeting is part of the activities implemented by PACJA and MPIDO, which are the intermediaries for the Pan African FCPF Capacity Building Program on REDD+ for CSOs and Forest dependent IPs supported by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank.

The two-day meeting seeks to enhance linkages with national REDD+ processes, identify challenges and best practices in forest preservation in Africa.

It will also broaden the conversation around the FCPF Capacity Building Program and broader REDD+ Readiness/ implementation process as well as strengthening the REDD+ community of practice among 18 FCPF Countries in Africa through.

Among the countries represented are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda. In addition to civil society and indigenous groups, government representatives from some countries also attended the meeting.

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Team PACJA Already in Accra for the Africa Climate Week 2019

The PACJA Secretariat team is in Accra to provide support to its members, civil society and partners in the series of events organized under the auspices of the Africa climate week (ACW) 2019, hosted by the Government of Ghana between 18th and 22nd March.  The event, organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other partners including PACJA, seeks to broaden stakeholder engagement and will be instrumental in demonstrating that there is genuine international support for stepping-up climate action.

 The event brings together diverse actors from the public and private sectors and builds on the success of last year’s event especially key outcomes of COP 24 and the just-concluded UNEA4. Katowice Climate talks operationalized the climate change regime contained in the Paris Agreement as it includes guidelines that will implement the framework by setting out how countries will provide information about their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which includes mitigation and adaptation measures as well as details of financial support for climate action in developing countries.  Nairobi talks on the other hand (UNEA4) laid the groundwork for a radical shift to a more sustainable future, where innovation will be harnessed to tackle environmental challenges, the use of throwaway plastics will be significantly reduced, and development will no longer cost the earth.    

 In an effort to strengthen and build on the two outcomes, ACW 2019 becomes a wholly inclusive, “go-to” hub for showcasing groundbreaking action in the region, the event provides encouragement to the implementation of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement and climate action to deliver on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030.

 As a partner co-hosting the event, and bringing the climate justice perspectives, PACJA views ACW as a critical moment to interact and articulate the aspirations of civil society and local communities that constitute the bulk of its membership. The Alliance will seize this momentum to mobilise its vast constituency and to ensure that the voices of the most vulnerable – smallholder farmers, grassroots women, indigenous people, fisherfolk, youth, pastoralists, trade unions and small-scale social enterprises – are not only heard, but also influence and inform the outcomes of the ACW .

PACJA and partners have organized several sectoral and thematic convenings and side-events under the theme of the ACW; energy transition, nature-based solutions and cities and local actions. In addition to self-organised events, the Alliance will seek intervention in the official sessions organized to articulate the perspectives of various constituencies represented in the international climate dialogue processes. One key event during the ACW is the youth led side event which will provide African youth with an opportunity to interrogate their role in relation to intergenerational justice and equity. Furthermore, the youth will share ideas on how to enhance their engagement and clearly define their space in climate change discourse; through national positions on loss and damage or their stories and experiences from their own accounts of direct adverse impacts of climate change

For more information on Pacja Side events During ACW Click here


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