CoM SSA presents at the Paris Peace Forum 2020

Posted on : 9 December 2020

Bouncing back, stronger, healthier, greener, and more equitable than before” this was one of the key messages of the Paris Peace Forum, which took place on 11-13 November 2020.

Around 12,000 participants, from 151 countries across the world, more than 50 heads of state and government as well as 12 international organisations, joined the virtual platform to participate in panel sessions, high-level discussions and presentations.

The idea that not only states and countries, but cities can also be key to a green and equitable recovery was repeatedly discussed during the Forum. The Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) was presented at the Paris Peace Forum 2020 to enhance awareness about the role of local governments in the fight against climate change and access to sustainable energy in this region of the African continent.

The CoM SSA initiative was presented by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) during the “Space For Solutions” session. Throughout the presentation AFD gave an overview of CoM SSA’s history, explained the major stakeholders and shared achievements so far.  The challenges encountered by the signatory cities and municipalities and the response that CoM SSA is putting in place were analyzed, with a particular attention on the new focus of the initiative since 2019, which is entered on unlocking the climate finance needed to develop sound and resilient infrastructures for urban populations, implemented by four Member State Organisations (MSOs).

AFD, together with the Agence Française d’Expertise Technique Internationale (Expertise France), Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), can count on their long expertise and experience in Sub-Saharan Africa to scale up the initiative and its impacts, in line with the Europe’s Green Deal and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals ”, explained Silvia Puddu, CoM SSA Project Manager at the Energy Division of AFD, during her presentation.

The MSOs are working together with cities and local governments to develop sound climate and energy plans and to raise projects to a level of maturity that will enable them to comply with the international debt repayment criteria applied by lenders.

CoM SSA is a major catalyst for local action on climate issues in Sub-Saharan Africa paving the way to an equitable social and climate transition. “However, the achievement of the ambitious targets of the initiative will require a collective effort by all actors working in urban areas in the region such as non-governmental organisations, the private sector, international organisations, local and international financial institutions” concluded Silvia Puddu.

To quote the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at Paris Peace Forum, “we must fully integrate climate and environmental action into stimulus packages in order to rebuild sustainable and inclusive economies and societies. But no country can achieve such a transformation alone. We need cooperation and solidarity.”