Cape Verde is set to host the 9th Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-IX) Conference from 23rd to 27th August 2021. This makes Cape Verde the first island nation to host this important African climate conference.
The proposed theme for this year’s conference is ‘Towards an African Framework for a Just Transitions’. ‘Just Transition’ refers to deliberate shifts of investments to environmentally and socially sustainable economies.
Meanwhile, other thematic areas proposed include the ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs) climate action proposals; green and blue economy. Another theme proposed is climate resilience post-COVID-19 pandemic. These will be the crosscutting themes of CCDA-IX.
The Cape Verde conference comes at a time when a post-COVID-19 dispensation to address health and climate change challenges has become critical. As such, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is outlining radical and bold economic renewal actions.
Furthermore, Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary-General stated that “transformative actions should not only be about just transitions in a few sectors”. She noted that such actions should be based on broad approaches to address the underlying causes of vulnerability. This, she noted, will help countries “put in place mechanisms to ensure that no one is left behind”.
The objective of the conference
“African countries should strive to avoid the pitfalls of the past and encourage resource processing rather than simply resource extraction”.
Ms. Songwe explained that the countries should do processing “whilst delivering the materials the world requires for the low carbon transition”. She noted that capitalizing on this to deliver green industrialization allows Africa to “future-proof their economies”.
Meanwhile, one of the objectives of the conference is to launch a continent-wide debate. Another objective is how the continent can develop appropriate frameworks to prepare for “the just transition”.
The conference aims at increasing the ambition and financing of the NDCs, blue economy, and related concerns. According to ClimDev-Africa, the conference dialogue is primed to provide a forum to deliberate on the costs of the continental economic just transition. The Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) noted that this will happen “while capitalizing on the opportunities arising from the same across the globe”.
CCDA-IX is also taking a valiant stand by using the Cape Verde summit to take stock of challenges and prospects engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, the CCDA-IX will bring together a wide range of stakeholders and interested constituencies. This will include policymakers, technocrats, parliamentarians, the African Group of Negotiators on climate change, and researchers. Others include academia, climate think tanks, civil societies, youth, women groups, and indigenous groups. Development partners, local government representatives, international organizations, and members of the private sector will also participate.
“Africa’s economy of the future must be resilient to risks of further climate change and ecological damage. Some African countries are spending up to 9% of GDP responding to climate events and environmental degradation. Although Africa is not amongst the largest emitters in the world, it is already impacted by rising temperatures”.Jean-Paul Adam- Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division at the Economic Commission for Africa
Furthermore, Mr.Adam noted that any recovery must incorporate resilience and adaptation to build back better. This, he noted, will help “avoid having to direct future resources to disaster relief rather than productive investments”.
Also, CCDA-IX will rely on the deployment of three approaches in convening and reaching out to the constituencies and actors engaged in climate change. These will be through bonding different platforms, hosting parallel sessions for dialogue and policy uptake.
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