During the Climate Chance World Summit that took place in Agadir (Morocco), from 11 to 13 September 2017, mayors and presidents of African regions, mobilized for the occasion by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa- UCLG Africa, presented the “Declaration of Local and Subnational Leaders of Africa: Fighting against climate change in Africa together.”
This declaration was presented at the end of the 2nd day of the summit, September 12, which was an “African Day” that UCLG Africa and its members facilitated with the support of the summit’s organizers and with presence of local elected officials from the rest of the world.
In fact, during the second day of Climate Chance, a plenary session was organized under the theme “African cities in the face of climate challenges.” The President of UCLG, the world body of local and regional authorities, Mr. Parks Tau was invited to speak at the opening of the session.
The Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, presented afterwards the Declaration of Local and Subnational Leaders of Africa and the seven key messages that it contains. In this declaration, local and regional leaders of Africa reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement and to existing initiatives of the regional and global networks.
The Local and Regional Leaders of Africa declare the following:
(1) We reaffirm our own commitment to the fight against climate change by anticipating the evolution of our own territories, in particular urban areas, in order to avoid tomorrow a significant increase in our own CO2 emissions tomorrow and address from today on the necessary adaptation measures; We commit ourselves to carry out these “climate plans” and involve all the stakeholders of our territories: citizens, associations, economic actors, etc.
(2) We encourage cities and regions of Africa to join the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, as well as “RegionsAdapt” and “Under2Coalition”, aiming at implementing a long-term vision of their territory relating to access to energy, reduction of greenhouse gases emissions, adaptation actions to climate change, and adoption of low carbon solutions;
(3) We stress the importance of recognizing the specificity of the challenges of climate change in Africa, which justifies at the territorial level, to give priority to access to energy, urban and land-use planning, taking into account rural-urban complementarity, particularly as regards sustainable agriculture policies ensuring food security in these territories, and to actions on climate change adaptation. Mitigation strategies should be developed at the occasion of the implementation of these strategies of access to energy and adaptation to climate change;
(4) We recall that most of the Nationally Determined Contributions should intervene at the level of cities and territories, which requires the involvement of local and subnational governments to facilitate the mobilization and collaboration of all the actors of the territory for their effective implementation on the ground; We reiterate our willingness to work closely with our National Governments to identify priority actions, increase ambition and respond effectively to adaptation issues;
(5) We call accordingly to the adoption and implementation of a capacity building and technical assistance program benefiting to local and subnational governments of Africa to enable them to master the MRV (measurement, reporting and verification) process and prepare eligible requests to climate finance, including the Green Climate Fund, with an insistence on simplifying the procedures;
(6) We recall the importance of decentralized cooperation processes which are consistent with institutional and capacity building;
(7) We reiterate our attachment to the multi-stakeholder cooperation framework in the field of climate offered by Climate Chance, and encourage its initiators to continue developing more synergies and complementariness among all pertinent stakeholders for their concerted actions to meet the challenges and opportunities of climate change in our cities and territories.
We call on the various actors of African civil societies to join this call and this process of collective engagement, to exchange best practices and priorities for action, to define together scenarios for action to match the challenges of climate change for the African continent. We will take stock of this collective mobilization at the occasion of the Africities Summit to take place in Brazzaville in December 2018.
The Declaration of Local and Subnational Leaders of Africa is available here.
For more information, visit Climate Chance website here.