Africa’s interests to take centre stage at COP28 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Leonard Ncube in Dubai, UAE

THE need to take climate change as a developmental issue and recognising the needs of the African continent, among other priorities, is expected to take centre stage at the 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which starts here today.

The global convention ends on December 12. By yesterday, thousands of delegates had arrived in the United Arab Emirates for the convention that is being held at the Dubai Expo Centre.

The platform provides a prime moment for global stakeholders to take stock of progress made on the Paris Agreement and help align efforts on climate action, including measures to bridge the implementation gaps.

Government representatives, business leaders and civic society delegates are expected to deliberate on a range of issues, including seeking concrete solutions to defining “issues of our time” and keeping global temperature below 1,5 degrees Celsius.

With global temperatures hitting record highs, and extreme weather events affecting people around the globe, this year’s UN COP28 is a critical opportunity to straighten the course and accelerate action to tackle the climate crisis.

According to the preliminary programme, all climate action post-COP28 should be guided by fairness and equity, with the need to strengthen global response to climate change threats and ensure poverty eradication which is key to sustainable development.

Africa is seeking to unite as a continent and push from a common position for successful implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and reducing the impact of climate change on the countries’ economies.

Assessments have identified action on agriculture and food systems as being key to an effective global climate change response.
Tomorrow will see the global food community coming together in a unified expression of collective action to make new commitments that raise the bar for global ambition and action on food systems transformation.

This will result in the UAE Declaration on Resilient Food Systems, Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Action.

Some sessions will be closed such as the Munich Security Conference, which aims to spark momentum among climate security leaders to address the interlinked challenges of climate   change, peace and security, with a specific focus on foresight, data, and good practices.

Sessions on putting health at the centre of the climate agenda and accelerating water and climate action will also be closed.

The session on Africa Green Industrialisation, jointly arranged by the COP28 Presidency and the  Government of Kenya, will bring together leaders from Africa and the United Arab Emirates, investors and captains of industries to highlight   Africa’s opportunities for green industrialisation as well as showcase successful renewable projects meant to propel Africa towards a carbon-neutral economy.

Some of the sessions will focus on energy, methane and non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases, protecting nature for climate and lives, Africa green industrialisation, climate innovation, health responses to climate change, accelerating climate change mitigation and innovation for a sustainable  future.

There will be numerous side meetings and  ministerial fora where discussions will focus on empowering law enforcement bodies to protect biodiversity and ensure climate resilience.

The idea is for the world to come up with inclusive and innovative solutions to climate change without leaving anyone or any place behind, with  small to medium enterprises, gender aspects, finance mechanisms   and trade also roped in the course of action.

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