Genuine collaboration critical for African cities to combat devastating climate change
Published: 29 Nov 2023
We need to take a long, hard look at the state of our planet and map a better course for our future. We need genuine collaboration, true inclusivity and authentic commitment to decrease the significant gap between promises and climate action.
The recent Africa Climate Summit and UNFCCC Africa Climate Week, together with the Global Stocktake Report, highlighted that there is an urgent need to scale up a rigorous all-of-economy, all-of-society approach which leads to significant climate action this decade in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
It’s not the first time we are hearing this. And it will not be the last. Africa is ready to contribute to global decarbonisation efforts and already has many of the solutions. But for us to ensure that our African cities can combat the devastating impacts of climate change, genuine collaboration is needed – collaboration across scales and sectors, undertaken in a spirit of innovation and inclusivity, with a solution-oriented mindset and transparency.
Africa is the fastest urbanising region in the world
Africa’s future is the world’s, with 25% of the global population expected to be African by 2050. Sub-Saharan Africa is already experiencing widespread losses and damages related to climate change. With 60% of Africa’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, often in informal areas and slums that are extremely vulnerable to climate change, current challenges will be further exacerbated.
I have had the privilege of seeing first hand the real difference that an EU co-funded initiative is having on the continent, when a genuine, inclusive and context-sensitive collaborative approach has been taken.
As an EU action that supports the external dimension of the European Green Deal, it recognises that the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation require a global response, but that solutions need to be context-specific, inclusive and innovative. With 27 million Euros currently invested by co-funders, a further funded phase was announced by the EU at Africa Climate Week.
As we move towards COP28, subnational governments are making their voices heard loud and clear. We need increased finance for climate action, we need multilevel governance processes to be mandated for the revision of NDCs, and we need subnational governments to have direct access to climate finance for scaled local action. African cities are ready, but climate action needs climate finance. And this needs genuine collaboration.