More than 500 climate change experts, carbon market players, policy makers and project developers from across Africa are presently in Kigali for Africa Carbon Forum to discuss Africa’s roadmap to sustainable development and shared prosperity. Also, on how to turn climate challenges into opportunities.
Participants at the Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, contend that for Africa to achieve climate change resilience, and for the Paris Agreement on climate change to be made a reality, there is a need for more funding and better collaboration among all players.
While opening the conference yesterday, the Minister for Natural Resources, Dr Vincent Biruta, noted that Rwanda felt severe consequences of climate change in May this year, when 56 of its citizens died due to floods and landslides in the Northern and Western provinces.
He said this was a clear demonstration of the vulnerability to climate change that the continent faces.
“However, we believe that the continent can overcome these kinds of challenges if we work as one,” he noted.
“Our assignment is clear: We must now turn this global commitment into local action. Through collaboration and knowledge sharing, we can achieve climate resilience in Africa by investing in renewable energy, clean cities and reforestation”.
At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal that maps out a global action plan to put the world on track to check climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C. The agreement is due to enter into force in 2020.
Antony Nyong, Division Manager, Environmental and Social Protection at African Development Bank (AfDB), said that the Paris Agreement cannot succeed without Africa succeeding in tackling climate change and in building resilience.”
According to UN Rwanda Resident Coordinator Lamin M. Manneh, many countries in Africa are already experiencing the growing effects of climate change, which is threatening progress in other development outcomes, such as food, energy, and water security, as well as in health, employment and preventing natural disaster.
“Therefore, only when climate action is integrated with inclusive, sustainable development can it achieve a truly transformational impact and enhance resilience to climate change for all on our continent,” he said.
He therefore concluded by saying that the private sector has a critical role to play in adopting, funding, implementing and delivering low carbon solutions, as a key player and partner for the Paris Agreement implementation.