Africa needs to be at the forefront of the climate change conversations


The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) is set to take place from the 6th to 18th of November 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. 196 countries will again gather to discuss the progress made implementing commitments from the last COP. The COP presents countries of the world the opportunity to meet and discuss the problem of climate change facing the planet. At last COP in Glasgow, Scotland, the UK led an aggressive campaign to ensure parties make firm commitments in line with the Paris Convention, however, the results from that COP are mixed. But where is Africa in all of these climate change conversations?


In 2015, at the Paris Convention (COP21), parties agreed on a new international climate agreement that aims to keep global warming at 1.5oC – 2 oC in accordance with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. COP26 represented another milestone in the climate change journey for countries around the world, especially African countries. COP26 saw developed countries make more commitments towards mitigating the impact of climate change.

At COP26, parties agreed on a number of issues: global warming needed to be kept at 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels; use of unabated coal power will be phased down and inefficient fuel subsidies phased out; the EU and the US launched the Global Methane Pledge with the goal of cutting methane emissions by 30% by the year 2030; more than 100 countries, including Brazil, Russia, Canada, and the Republic of Congo, announced the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use pledging to end deforestation by 2030; car manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, Volvo, and Mercedes Benz agreed to only sell zero-emissions cars by 2040; and countries pledged to contribute to the Adaptation Finance. The COP also saw massive participation of the private sector with financial institutions promising to mobilise more than $100 trillion to finance the energy transition.


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