Covenant of Mayors partners cement ties to accelerate local climate action

Posted on : 1 April 2019

Africa has a huge potential to accelerate local climate action. That’s why two implementers of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) have signed a new strategic agreement, which will also strengthen stakeholders’ engagement in the energy sector in Africa.

The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability-Africa (ICLEI Africa) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on 19 March, during the United Nations Africa Climate Week in Accra, Ghana.

Dr Meggan Spires (L) of ICLEI Africa and Mohamed Nbou (R) of UCLG Africa sign on behalf of their organisations (photo: Jude Fuhnwi/Accra)

This new agreement will strengthen the position of the CoM SSA Helpdesk as the hub of support to cities and local governments in Africa. It will help to develop and implement sustainable climate and energy actions that centre on access to clean energy, climate mitigation and climate adaption.

The agreement spearheaded by UCLG Africa’s Climate Task Force builds on the gains of CoM SSA in the last three years to advance climate action and access to clean energy in Africa.

“There is a lot of emphasis on how we can move forward to address climate change in the continent, looking at the mitigation and adaptation side, but also access to financing and energy,” said Kobie Brand, Executive Director of ICLEI Africa.

Both organisations said they want to see cities and local governments take more action, particularly in the area of climate change.

UCLG Africa’s Secretary General, Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi (L) explains content of MoA (photo: Jude Fuhnwi/Accra)

“We are part of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa for climate and energy. The Helpdesk office is here in Accra. This is the time, and a good place at the Climate Week to sign this agreement,” said Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa.

The Covenant of Mayors engages with cities and local governments to ensure that what they do is sustainable. “We can’t underestimate the power of local governments in achieving sustainable climate action. This MoA is about action,” stressed Dr Meggan Spires, Senior Manager of Climate Change, Energy and Resilience programmes at ICLEI Africa who signed on behalf of her organisation. Mr Mohamed Nbou, Coordinator of the Climate Task Force signed for UCLG Africa.

Some mayors and delegates attended the event from CoM SSA signatory cities. The Mayor of the city of Accra, Hon. Mohamed Adjei Sowah said Accra, the hub of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa Helpdesk is “becoming a hotspot for climate mobilisation in Africa”.