Abidjan hosts first-ever pan-African dialogue on achieving climate change goals

The first-ever conference for exchange and cooperation between national and local authorities in Africa to address climate issues and support decentralization territorial approach of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), kicked off this Wednesday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Ministers, mayors and heads of African municipalities will explore opportunities for cooperation and mutual assistance in this “Structured Dialogue” conference convened by the Climate Task Force of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) in partnership with the European Commission and the African Development Bank.

The two-day meeting (May 15 to 16), held at the AfDB headquarters, is bringing together presidents of local government associations and technical and financial partners.

The first Structured Dialogue will explore concrete opportunities to enhance multi-level governance, with a specific focus on inclusive and participatory development for African countries, cities and regions to manage the risks of a changing climate while unlocking new investment opportunities, according to an AfDB press release.

While Africa enjoys unprecedented economic development and strong demographic and urban growth, large parts of the continent are also highly vulnerable and already face the dramatic consequences of climate change. Local governments, civil society and the youth are getting increasingly vocal, asking more commitment at all levels to fight climate change. This makes Africa a key player in the global challenge to meet goals set in the Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and to adapt to climate change. Across the region, cities and local authorities are moving forward, the press release added.

Recognizing that Climate Change is a major threat to Africa’s efforts to meet all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the importance of aligning the NDCs with the broader national development agenda, the European Commission is increasing its efforts to support partner countries in mainstreaming climate change considerations and NDCs into all their policies and plans. Through the EU-funded Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) cities and municipalities receive technical support to develop Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plan (SEACAPs) as well as direct financial support to implement actions at local level.

With additional €25 million, the third phase of the CoMSSA aims to scale-up the initiative’s impact by expanding and sustaining the network and reaching a greater number of beneficiaries, bridging the gap to finance investments and fostering coordination. SEACAPs will be an instrumental tool to the decentralization of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

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