Africa and climate change: Time for urgent action
African leaders and negotiators came to COP26 with well-coordinated joint policy positions and high ambition. But the result fell short of what they need.
Despite African leaders and negotiators achieving some progress on key African priorities at COP26, ultimately the final outcomes were incommensurate with the scale of the continent’s needs.
Wins included keeping alive the aim to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, the call to at least double Adaptation finance by 2025, some progress on Article 6 (a potential opportunity for African carbon trading) and agreements on preventing deforestation, with a pledge of $1.5 billion dedicated to protecting the forests and peatlands of the Congo Basin in recognition of its importance as a global carbon sink. And a major South African deal to assist a ‘just’ transition away from coal was a further win.
However, there was little focus on nature-based solutions (NBS), lacklustre action on loss and damage, and no progress towards an agenda item on ‘special needs and circumstances for Africa’ which reflects the disagreement within the wider least-developed countries (LDC) group. As preparations begin for the ‘Africa’ COP27 in Egypt in November, urgent action is needed to build on Glasgow’s unfinished business.
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