on 16th November 2017

An African Perspective on COP 23

Despite insignificant contribution to global GHGs emissions (about 3%), African countries are already making a major contribution to global emission cuts and adaptation. According to a recent UN study, African countries are already spending between 2 to 9 percent of their GDP on adaptation, on average, thus reducing the potential impact of climate change by more than 20 percent. This contribution is significantly higher than the adaptation resource flow from international sources, the estimated adaptation gap is about 80 per cent. The major expectations of the African Group of Negotiators at COP23 included accelerated climate action before 2020 and beyond, a move forward on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and progress on the Rule Book, a global Goal on Adaptation, progress on emission cuts, and enhanced actions on participatory, gender-equitable National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).

Despite progress in some areas, such as the adoption of a Gender Action Plan and on the agriculture negotiation, we have witnessed non-preference to pre-2020 action, and a lack of ambition on filling the emissions gap and setting a Global Goal on Adaptation.

Pre-2020 action is essential for the Paris Agreement because it is fundamental to maintain trust among Parties on limiting the severity of climate impacts, and to make it easier to increase ambition for the post-2020 period. It is also critical that Parties study the findings of the UN Environment report, negative and positive, and understand what it means for them in terms of taking fast and ambitious domestic action. In 2018, Parties must show commitment to meaningful progress on operationalization of a Global Goal on Adaptation and to accelerate the development of participatory and gender-equitable NAPs.

Alebachew Adem, Regional Advisor for Sustainable Agriculture & Climate Resilience, CARE USA

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