Statement on speeding up urban climate action in sub-Saharan Africa | COP27
Published: 1 Dec 2022
We, the Covenant of Mayors in Sub Saharan Africa Regional Mayors Forum, representing the voices of over 320 cities in sub-Saharan Africa, with a total population exceeding 150 million people, and building off the Dakar Declaration, make the following statement here at COP27:
- Cities in sub-Saharan Africa are unique. Africa is projected to have the fastest urban growth rate in the world: by 2050, Africa's cities will be home to an additional 950 million people. By 2030, young Africans are expected to constitute 42% of global youth. Cities and regions in sub-Saharan Africa are some of the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change, but have contributed the least to global greenhouse gas emissions.
- The climate and energy transition must “leave no one behind”. African city governments are tackling climate change as it overlays polycrises, while our cities grow rapidly, with the accompanying development needs. In this context, we need climate and energy solutions that take an integrated approach, are just, and inclusive of youth, women, and vulnerable communities. They must create jobs, bring social development and break down inequalities. In sub-Saharan Africa, our residents face the greatest impact of climate change despite contributing minimally to the problem. We, as city leaders, are prioritising adaptation to climate impacts in Africa. It is estimated that Africa gets only 12% of the financing it needs to adapt to the changing climate. We call for an even allocation of climate finance between climate change adaptation and mitigation.
- Increased access to sustainable energy and clean cooking offers an opportunity for sub-Saharan African cities to develop based on low carbon technologies. This will only be possible if we, as sub-national governments, receive direct access to finance at the local level, where solutions are best implemented.
- Water is life. Our sub-Saharan African cities and regions are dealing with climate change influenced floods and droughts and require urgent support in assisting our residents in adapting to water-related climate change impacts.
- CoM SSA signatories have developed plans and priority actions, these plans now need to be implemented. We call upon the international community to support significantly increasing finance for adaptation, loss and damage, and access to sustainable energy and clean cooking.
- Adaptation actions are underway but need to be ramped up. We also know that there will be residual loss and damage. Therefore, loss and damage finance is essential to protect us from the inevitable impacts of climate change. It must be new and additional to meet the needs that cities and regions are facing, and must not be reallocated from other climate or developmental priorities.
- Climate finance must not exacerbate the burden on cities by increasing their debt, and should be specifically allocated to sub-national governments as climate change impacts are felt at the local level.