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Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs): Implications,
Prospects and Africa’s Readiness to Contribute to Solutions Presented by: UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

This high level side event, part of Africa Day at COP 21, was organized to showcase Africa’s contributions toward finding sustainable solutions to the threats posed by climate change. The session provided a platform to debate the challenges, opportunities and means of implementing the INDCs in African countries. Lasting from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., the side event was divided into multiple sessions: an opening session; a session on the status of INDCs; a ministerial dialogue on INDCs in Africa; and a session on the implications and prospects of the INDCs for Africa.

The opening session was moderated and chaired by Shiferaw Teklemariam, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ethiopia.

L-R: Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UNECA; Olushola Olayide, Head, Division of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management, African Union Commission (AUC); Richard Sezibera, Secretary General, East African Community (EAC); Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment, Egypt, and President, African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN); Shiferaw Teklemariam, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ethiopia; Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC; Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, AUC; Anthony Nyong, Manager, Compliance and Safeguards Division, African Development Bank (AfDB)

Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC, said Africa Day is organized by Africa’s “premiere institutions” including the AUC, AfDB, UNECA and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), in collaboration with ECA, Ethiopia, Sudan and with the support of other partners. She called COP 21 a “historic milestone” that proves the level of commitment by the global community in addressing the impacts of climate change. Africa Day, she said, is not about lamenting risks or challenges but is an opportunity for the continent to show solutions, specifically through the development of the INDCs.

Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UNECA, said that Africa has arrived in Paris with a strong message: the continent is here to be part of the solution to climate change. He noted that following COP 20 in Lima and the renewed call for Parties to the UNFCCC to submit their INDCs, 53 of the 54 African countries successfully prepared and submitted their INDCs to meet the objectives of Article 2 of the Convention. He said, however, that INDCs are “a deviation in some degree” from a process that “should be more linked to monitoring and constraints” and that INDCs are risky because they can “blur the picture” with regards to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR). He said that sustainable development is often approached in a fragmented manner, with the pillars of society and the environment suffering in favor of economic considerations. He said contributions from developed countries should include finance, technology and capacity building. Concluding his remarks he reminded participants of the example of China, asking what will happen when China delocalizes its production to some other region, such as Africa: “is this the industrialization we want?”

Anthony Nyong, Manager, Compliance and Safeguards Division, AfDB, said Africa is positioned to transition to a low carbon, climate resilient economy and called it “very important” for delegates in Paris to reach an agreement to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. He said African countries have arrived in Paris with concrete solutions outlined in their INDCs that are among the most ambitious in the world. “Africa cannot do it alone,” he said, and called for respect of the principle of CBDR and concrete means of implementation. The INDCs, he said, “should not be relegated to the archives of the UNFCCC.” He ended by underscoring that when Africa suffers from climate change, the entire world suffers.

Richard Sezibera, Secretary General, EAC, said although climate change will inevitably cause challenges to Africa’s growth, it also provides an opportunity for the continent to grow faster and cleaner and for Africa to “develop her own capacity for industrialization.” The development of INDCs in East Africa, he said, included both technical and political processes and that the INDCs are anchored in extant national climate change adaptation programmes and plans. He said climate change is too important and pervasive to be left up to individual nations to tackle, and he stressed the role of partnerships and maintaining clear separation between climate finance and official development assistance.

Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment, Egypt, and President, AMCEN, said the first “red line” for African negotiators in Paris is preserving an equal balance between adaptation and mitigation. He went on to outline a second red line, which is that African countries have not come to Paris to reinterpret the Convention but rather to operationalize it. He said the outcome from Paris should be fair, legally binding, based on historic responsibilities and aimed at limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Anthony Nyong, Manager, Compliance and Safeguards Division, AfDB

Xolisa Ngwadla, Lead Negotiator, African Group of Negotiators (AGN)

Following the opening session, participants listened to two statements on the status of INDCs in Africa. Xolisa Ngwadla, Lead Negotiator, AGN, underscored the importance of including both adaptation and mitigation in INDCs. He detailed the process by which African negotiators worked to ensure that the guidelines for preparing INDCs had an adaptation component. He noted capacity constraints among some countries, particularly small island developing states (SIDS). On finance, he lamented that the Paris outcome is unlikely to have finance reflected in the context of INDCs but that the AGN continues to push hard on this “critical element.”

Johnson Nkem, Senior Adaptation Officer, UNECA, presented on patterns among African INDCs. On the aggregate, adaptation plans as contained in the African INDCs require 58% conditional financing while mitigation plans require 66% conditional financing, a fact that underscores the need for means of implementation in the Paris outcome. Using the examples of Namibia, Chad and Central African Republic, he explained the manifold benefits that means of implementation would bring to achieving the INDCs over a business as usual scenario. He noted a strong synergy between adaptation and mitigation because adaptation interventions help to lift up the level of concomitant mitigation activities.

Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UNECA

Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC

Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment, Egypt, and President, AMCEN

Richard Sezibera, Secretary General, EAC and Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment, Egypt, and President, AMCEN

Cherif Rahmani, Minister of Planning and Environment, Algeria

Roger Nkodo Dang, President, Pan African Parliament (PAP)

Following the end of the status of INDCs segment, Cherif Rahmani, Minister of Planning and Environment, Algeria, opened the Ministerial Dialogue on INDCs in Africa.

Adamou Chaiffou, Minister of Environment, Niger, said that his country is one of the least responsible for climate change but is suffering the most, particularly from desertification. He underscored the need for an emphasis on adaptation, which in the context of Niger means sustainable land management, climate-smart agriculture and improving the resilience of populations and ecosystems. He urged that the Paris outcome be legally binding and noted the need for external support.

Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Namibia, said his country is trying to curb emissions and lead by example in the fight against climate change. He highlighted important issues as food and water security, drought-proofing and climate-smart agriculture. Namibia’s INDC has a 15 year implementation period from 2016-2030, he said, and will require approximately US$33 billion to reach its mandate. He expressed hope that developed countries will fulfill their commitment to support INDCs with the necessary means of implementation.

Cherif Rahmani said Algeria is leading the way but ambitions have to be realistic in light of financial and technological challenges. He underscored the need for human resources and capacity building as well as for a commitment to the means of implementation and upholding the principle of CBDR. The challenge of desertification, he said, is more pervasive than ever and there is a need to strengthen the resilience of populations, particularly among agro-pastoralists.

Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director, Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Augustine Njamnshi, Chair, Political and Technical Affairs Committee, PACJA

Adamou Chaiffou, Minister of Environment, Niger

Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Namibia

Following the ministerial segment, Cherif Rahmani, opened the final session on the implications and prospects of INDCs in Africa.

Roger Nkodo Dang, President, Pan African Parliament (PAP), said members of African parliaments should engage with the UNFCCC process because any agreement must be translated to national legislation. The goal of the PAP, he said, is to present a unified African voice with a common position and to call upon the international community to respect the commitments made at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). “We’ve heard many promises that have never been honored,” he said, “if we leave here with no declaration then it will be a failure.”

Peter Coveliers, Deputy Head, Climate Change and Energy Division, European Investment Bank (EIB) said the EIB provides about US$19 billion in climate investment each year and is highly active in Africa. The INDCs, he said, are a useful tool because they create a policy environment within which investments can happen. He said that international financial institutions are important but that local commercial banks need to be incentivized to participate as well. He discussed the Renewable Energy Performance Platform developed as a partnership between the EIB and the UN Environment Programme that brings together different actors from risk mitigation instruments as well as the financing and donor arenas.

John Ward, Managing Director, Vivid Economics, said INDCs offer a tremendous opportunity for Africa. INDCs, he said, must be seen as a vehicle to integrate climate issues into the broader macroeconomic policies and strategies of African countries so that they can help achieve economic transformation. Among the African INDCs, he said, are a significant amount of impressive and ambitious activities, but that in some cases there will be regulatory and policy barriers that may hold them back. He noted the need for support from developed countries in terms of finance and technology transfer.

Augustine Njamnshi, Chair, Political and Technical Affairs Committee, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), said that Africans have been contributing to the fight against climate change on a daily basis for years. He said Africans “are not simply folding their arms and watching the house burn,” but they are actively trying to put out the fire and the INDCs show the sacrifices that they are making. He said now is the time for implementation and that there must be a dialogue with ordinary citizens and smallholder farmers. Whether or not Paris produces a binding deal, he said, Africans will continue adapting to climate change as they have been doing for years already.

Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director, GCF, provided an update of GCF activities, noting that the GCF has an emerging network of institutions able to access the Fund and deploy its resources in developing countries. She said 29 institutions have so far been recommended for the GCF Board’s consideration and 20 have already been accredited with at least 60 more that have uploaded applications for accreditation. She detailed the eight projects that the GCF has approved for investments earlier this year, noting that these projects mark the final stage of the Fund becoming fully operational.

Chebet Maikut, UNFCCC Focal Point, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda, said INDCs provide an immense opportunity to harness sustainable development. He said there is a need to look beyond multilateral financing mechanisms and find innovative instruments that can be undertaken bilaterally or in concert with multiple development partners to enable quick implementation of INDCs. He underscored the loss in productivity due to lack of electrification and emphasized scaling up access to energy.

Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labor Organization (ILO), said the climate crisis and the global jobs crisis are interrelated and should be addressed through coordinated responses, such as in South Africa’s INDC which deals with climate change in the context of eradicating poverty and eliminating inequality. He urged implementing policies for education, training and skills building.

Henry Rene Diouf, Regional Technical Advisor, UN Development Programme (UNDP), said INDCs need to be linked with national adaptation plans as well as climate investment plans. He said national banking sectors need to be in a position to provide climate finance so that local farmers can access the investment they need to implement their initiatives. He urged countries to set up enabling regulatory frameworks for banks, eradicate institutional barriers and improve coordination at the national level.

Tumusiime Rhoda Peace provided concluding remarks and reiterated the call for INDCs to have concrete means of implementation in terms of finance, technology and capacity. Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, AUC, thanked all participants and closed the session.

Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, AUC

Johnson Nkem, Senior Adaptation Officer, UNECA

Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labor Organization (ILO)

Peter Coveliers, Deputy Head, Climate Change and Energy Division, European Investment Bank (EIB)

+ More Information:

http://www.uneca.org/

+ Contacts:

Jacqueline Chenje (UNECA) - JChenje@uneca.org



Other Events

Advancing Low Carbon Development in the West African RegionPresented by: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE)

L-R: Ron Benioff, Director of Multilateral Programs, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); Youba Sokona, Special Advisor on Sustainable Development, South Centre; Pradeep Monga, Director, Energy Branch, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director, ECREEE; Sophie Gladima Siby, former Minister, Telecommunication, Postal Services and Information and Communication Technology, Senegal; Alexander Ochs, Director of Climate and Energy, Worldwatch Institute; Edward Awafo, Head, Africa Low Emission Development Partnership (AfLP)

Pradeep Monga, Director, Energy Branch, UNIDO

Sophie Gladima Siby, former Minister, Telecommunication, Postal Services and Information and Communication Technology, Senegal

Ron Benioff, Director of Multilateral Programs, NREL

This panel discussed advancing low carbon development in West Africa and was moderated by Youba Sokona, Special Advisor on Sustainable Development, South Centre.

Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director, ECREEE, outlined that of the 334 million people in the ECOWAS region only 42% have access to energy and that the energy used mostly comes from fossil fuels and biomass. He said the ECOWAS Energy Strategy for 2030 aims to provide 100% of the region’s population with access to clean cooking energy by 2030 and increase the share of renewable energy in the overall electricity mix to 35% by 2020. He noted another aim to improve the electrification rate from 34% to 88%, an increase equivalent to 60 million households gaining access to electricity between 2015 and 2030.

Sophie Gladima Siby, former Minister, Telecommunication, Postal Services and Information and Communication Technology, Senegal, highlighted the role of hydropower, which she said has been good both for agriculture and energy in her country. She stated that there is a lack of access to renewable energy in rural areas in Africa and that the Senegalese government is bringing support to rural areas to buy solar photovoltaic units.

Pradeep Monga, Director, Energy Branch, UNIDO, and Special Representative of the Director-General on Energy, UNIDO, said the energy agenda is fragmented and that coordination on the national level is a big challenge. He highlighted a lack of reliable data and a need for increased knowledge management and capacity building and said the low hanging fruit of energy efficiency is not being plucked. He said innovation and technology are the keys to decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation and that Africa deserves new technology not second or third generation technologies.

Ron Benioff, Director of Multilateral Programs, NREL, noted the importance of having the right policy signals in place like feed-in tariffs, guarantee payments and technology standards. He urged countries to take advantage of NREL’s Renewable Resource Data Centre that provides free advice on clean energy policies to countries in the region. He also urged building the local capacity of businesses and governments.

Alexander Ochs, Director of Climate and Energy, Worldwatch Institute, said there will be no sustainable economic growth or social development if Africa’s main energy source is fossil fuels. He said centralized fossil fuel based energy systems are not going to solve the problem of climate change or increase access to energy because they are too expensive, and he therefore recommended decentralized systems and renewable energy. He said Africa is not starting from scratch and that there have already been some “enormous advances” in technology and policy development.

Edward Awafo, Head, AfLP, introduced the AfLP which is a partnership between governments and individuals and works as a knowledge hub to share experiences and best practices. He noted the importance of tapping into the emergent political awareness blossoming within African governments regarding climate change and energy.

Discussions ensued on inter alia: the tools needed to make sure public policies encompass energy and energy decentralization; the role of the private sector; and whether there is tension between low carbon energy and energy security.

+ More Information:

http://www.ecreee.org/

+ Contacts:

John Yeboah (ECREEE) - jyeboah@ecreee.org

Building Resilience to Climate Change in African SIDS: Implementation of the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway Presented by: UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

L-R: Seco Cassamá, Secretary of State for Environment, Guinea-Bissau; Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UNECA; Fernando Wahnon, Permanent Representative of Cape Verde to the UN; Olafur Rognvaldsson, University of Bergen; Jose Pimenta, Director, International Centre of Climate Investigation and Applications for the Portuguese Speaking Countries in Africa (CIICLAA)

Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UNECA

Fernando Wahnon, Permanent Representative of Cape Verde to the UN

During this session, panelists discussed the ways in which countries are implementing the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway in African SIDS.

Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UNECA, said there is “absolutely universal agreement” on the challenges facing SIDS. He said the support for SIDS expressed in Samoa during the Third International Conference on SIDS (the Apia Conference) was “uncontroversial” and there was agreement even before delegates arrived. Grappling with entrenched poverty and food, water and energy insecurity is made more difficult due to climate change, he said, calling it an injustice.

Fernando Wahnon, Permanent Representative of Cape Verde to the UN, said SIDS’ ambition to combat climate change is completely different than that of large, continental countries. The Apia Conference, he said, was important for drawing attention to the special case of SIDS but that what is needed now is implementation. He said although SIDS are comprised of 48 countries, they are small, have little political power and are suffering the effects of climate change already. The S.A.M.O.A. Pathway, he said, is important because it focuses on sustainable and clean energy. He closed his remarks by lauding SDG 14 on oceans saying, “the sea is the life of the islands, and life for humanity.”

Olafur Rognvaldsson, University of Bergen, described the importance of high resolution weather forecasting and data processing for SIDS. He urged involving the private sector so that it understands the value of meteorological information and suggested engaging with the insurance and reinsurance industries and the energy and agricultural sectors.

Jose Pimenta, Director, CIICLAA, introduced the CIICLAA and its objectives of: supporting decision making on extreme weather and climate adaptation; conducting applied research for food security, geosciences and disaster risk reduction; providing advanced specialized training; and involving the private sector.

Carlos Lopes closed the session noting that vulnerability in SIDS needs to be approached from a scientific point of view and underscoring the importance of inserting the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway implementation into the UNFCCC negotiations.

Seco Cassamá, Secretary of State for Environment, Guinea-Bissau

Jose Pimenta, Director, CIICLAA

+ More Information:

http://www.uneca.org/

+ Contacts:

Jacqueline Chenje (UNECA) - JChenje@uneca.org

Climate-proofing Africa’s Long-term Assets: Presenting the Africa Climate Resilient Investment Facility Presented by: World Bank

L-R: Prince Mupazviriho, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe; Amedi Camara, Minister of Environment, Mauritania; Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure, AUC; Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UNECA; Jamal Saghir, Senior Regional Adviser for the Africa Region, World Bank; Alain Ries, Director for Sustainable Development, L'Agence Française de Développement (AFD); Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister of Water and Environment, Uganda; Aage Jørgensen, Country Program Manager, Nordic Development Fund (NDF); Fatima Denton, Director, Special Initiatives Division, UNECA

Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UNECA

Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister of Water and Environment, Uganda

This event showcased the Africa Climate Resilient Investment Facility and was moderated by Fatima Denton, Director, Special Initiatives Division, UNECA.

Alain Ries, Director for Sustainable Development, AFD, said in Africa the consequences of climate change are not sufficiently factored into national and regional strategies, sectoral investment plans or infrastructure design. He said the complex nature of climate change should not prevent countries from taking action as there are a variety of “no-regret” adaptation options. He called the Facility an “extremely important initiative.”

Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UNECA, said he has mixed feelings about the term “resilience” because it is often used to portray Africa in a negative way but he feels the Facility is using the term in the right way. He outlined that there has been no quality growth in Africa in the last 15 years because the growth has not been inclusive and that therefore Africa needs to grow differently in the next 15 years. He noted that under current demographic trends Africa will have to create 122 million jobs by 2020 but that under business as usual only 54 million jobs will be created. He said the number one investment for Africa should be in infrastructure and he commended the Facility for focusing on this.

Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure, AUC, said that climate proofing current and future infrastructure in Africa is crucial and that investing in such infrastructure will prove cost effective in the long run while simultaneously ensuring economic and social benefits. She welcomed the Facility but urged for it to avoid a narrow focus on providing loans and said it needs to take into account the views and needs of African countries.

Raffaello Cervigni, Lead Environmental Economist and Regional Coordinator for Climate Change, Africa Region, World Bank, presented the background, objective and structure of the Facility. He outlined that the Facility is a part of the World Bank’s Business Plan for Africa and its objective is to strengthen the capacity of African institutions to plan, design and implement climate resilient investments in selected sectors such as water, irrigation, hydropower, energy and road transport. He said it aims to bring together project developers, the climate science community and financiers and to provide an open data and knowledge platform as well as expert services.

Jamal Saghir, Senior Regional Adviser for the Africa Region, World Bank, said Africa needs to harness its energy potential and become a greener, cleaner continent. He noted Africa has not been learning enough in the last 10 years regarding infrastructure development and in the future Africa needs to focus on smart infrastructure where the design, information and material is different. He noted the Facility will be a knowledge hub for decision makers to gain information on resilient infrastructure development.

Amedi Camara, Minister of Environment, Mauritania, outlined his country’s challenges, especially along its coastline, and noted actions taken in Mauritania with regards to climate change. He expressed full support for the Facility and reinforced Mauritania’s commitment to factor in the challenges of climate change in plans and investments in the country.

Prince Mupazviriho, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe, outlined climatic changes and responses in Zimbabwe. He described the country’s national climate policy and said a lot remains to be done to achieve it. He highlighted the importance of integrating climate considerations into infrastructure development and called for the Facility to be led by Africans.

Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister of Water and Environment, Uganda, said climate change is already being experienced and felt in Uganda and that therefore climate change is acknowledged and addressed in Uganda’s development work. He outlined that Uganda’s energy depends on hydropower and “when the rains don’t come we have a problem.” He noted the cost of inaction on climate change is 20 times the cost of adaptation and that Uganda stands ready to help operationalize the establishment of the Facility.

Aage Jørgensen, Country Program Manager, NDF, said the NDF approved a grant for the study “Enhancing the Climate Resilience of Africa’s Infrastructure” in 2011 and noted its pleasure with the process to set up the Facility saying that it is in dialogue with the World Bank to further support its establishment.

Prince Mupazviriho, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe

Fatima Denton, Director, Special Initiatives Division, UNECA

+ More Information:

http://www.worldbank.org/

+ Contacts:

Raffaello Cervigni (World Bank) - rcervigni@worldbank.org


Around the Venue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Africa Pavilion @ COP 21 Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Dina Hestad and Brett Wertz. The Digital Editor is Liz Rubin. The Editor is Tomilola Akanle Eni-ibukun, Ph.D. <tomilola@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of the Africa Pavilion at COP 21 has been provided by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>. Electronic versions of issues of the Africa Pavilion @ COP 21 Bulletin can be found on the IISD Reporting Services website at http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop21/cdafrica-ap/. The IISD team at the Africa Pavilion at COP 21 can be contacted by e-mail at <brett@iisd.org>.

Funding for coverage of the Africa Pavilion at COP 21, has been provided by UNECA
UNECA