Participation of UCLG Africa in the African Climate Week

The Glasgow Climate Pact was a significant step forward for Local Authorities in recognizing their role as decisive actors in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

COP27, which will be held on African soil in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, is placed by the Egyptian presidency under the sign of the effective translation on the ground of the commitments of the various stakeholders, particularly in the field of climate finance.

African Climate Week is in this perspective a key step to structure and formalize a common African position in the COP27 Agenda process and to amplify the voice of local authorities and position their role as a platform for implementation of the Climate Agenda, particularly at the level of adaptation, which constitutes a largely territorial challenge.

Indeed during the Climate Day at the 9th edition of Africities which was held in Kisumu in Kenya, in May 2022, the local authorities of Africa were able to adopt, through the Kisumu Climate Declaration, a common position in terms of acceleration of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

This declaration was shared with the various actors with a view to integrating the challenges of the territories into the process of the Marrakech partnership for action during COP27.

To this end, the participation of a high-level UCLG Africa delegation chaired by its President, Ms. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, in the Africa Climate Day was of paramount importance in establishing the bases for advanced adaptation for an Africa rooted in the territories at COP27 and in which local and regional governments are at the heart of implementation.

The program of activities  of the mission has been established with the aim of achieving the following goals:

  • Taking into account the role of local and regional governments as a platform for accelerating the implementation of NDCs;
  • The inclusion of local and regional governments in the initiatives to be launched by the COP27 champion;
  • The institutionalization of the organization of the Local Authorities Forum during COP27;
  • Strengthening and renewal of UCLG Africa’s partnership with financial partners.

To do this, the program has included three pillars:

  1. Participation in the high-level segments and the organization of side events :

Side Event BCRUP

  • Participation in the high-level ministerial segment which focused mainly on the priorities of Africa’s Climate Agenda to be put forward at COP27 and particularly the mobilization of finance which is a key factor in the success of the implementation of NDCs in Africa. This event was an opportunity to highlight the avant-garde position of local authorities in terms of achieving the goals of the two initiatives “Race To Zero ” and “Race To Resilience ” of local authorities in the fight against climate change and the need to place local and regional governments at the heart of the implementation of the Paris agreement and especially of adaptation, which is a largely territorial issue.

Side Event on Water Governance

The side events organized involved hemes that are in line with the priorities of the Marrakesh Partnership Agenda, namely waste management in the context of the circular economy, sustainable water management, the resilience of cities, and especially informal settlements. In addition, UCLG Africa was invited to participate in the debates of the Side event on the role of the cement and concrete industry in accelerating the climate agenda in terms of carbon neutrality.

2- the reinforced and renewed partnership framework:

  • Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with GCCA: this is a partnership with a major player in action in the field, given the importance of the cement and concrete industry in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the acceleration of the implementation of the Race To Zero initiative ;

Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding with GCCA

  • Partnership program with IRENA: IRENA is a central player in the energy transition. It was agreed to hold the signing ceremony of the MoU prior to COP27 (October) and to launch the operationalization program for this memorandum during COP27.
  • Operationalization of the MoUs with GCA: a meeting was held in this context to agree on a program which will focus in a first phase on the assessment of climate risks in two cities for a contribution of 250,000 Euros.
  • Roadmap for the implementation of partnership with the government of Kenya around the BCRUP initiative: the working session with the Kenyan delegation focused on the dates of signature as well as the establishment of a Readiness program where UCLG Africa is a delivery partner.

Bilateral meeting with HE the Minister of Environment of Kenya

  • Partnership with AMCEN: it should be recalled that the agenda of the next AMCEN meeting will include the establishment of a platform for the implementation of AMCEN decisions. In this context, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) contacted UCLG Africa to be part of the actors of this platform. To this end, and with a view to positioning local authorities as pilots of this platform, meetings were held with the 3 ministers in charge of Environment (Gabon, Kenya, Morocco).
  • Operationalization of the Memorandum of Understanding with CDC:

The working session which took place at the headquarters of CDC Gabon was part of the operationalization of the MoU by laying the foundations for the development of a roadmap structured around three pillars:

  • Capacity building of local elected officials
  • Identification and maturation of climate projects
  • Mobilization of climate finance.

In addition, a joint program of activities for COP27 has been adopted .

3- strengthening the position of Local Authorities in the climate governance of the African Union:

Bilateral meeting with the Minister of Gabon, HE Mr. Lee Withe

  • On the eve of the AMCEN meeting which was scheduled to take place in Dakar from September 12 to 16, and whose challenges are of paramount importance to institutionalize the climate action of local and regional governments in the operational architecture of the African Union, meetings with the Environment Ministers present in Libreville were held, to make them aware of taking action for a decision that would allow enable local and regional governments to be a key partner in the process of implementing the decisions of AMCEN. These are the ministers of Gabon, Morocco, and Kenya and the COP27 champion;
  • Meeting with financial and technical partners (GCA, AfDB, Green Climate Fund, IRENA, C40, GCF Morocco FP);
  • Meeting with partners: GCA, AfDB, GCF, IRENA, C40, PF GCF Morocco

During this working session, two focus areas were discussed:

  • The means and ways of operationalizing the Kisumu climate declaration;
  • The partnership for the organization of the African Local Government Solutions Forum at COP27.

On the eve of COP 27, the ACW in Libreville was an important milestone in reframing the activities of local and regional governments in line with the strategic orientations of COP27 and in identifying entry points with a view to amplifying the voice and place of local authorities at COP27. Thus an action plan covering the two trajectories of the COP has been defined, namely:

  • Negotiation through the Kisumu climate declaration
  • the Marrakech partnership for action through the various initiatives launched (the Round Table of Mayors – the survey on waste – Race to Zero / Race to Resilience – the Initiative on the resilience of vulnerable urban areas)