Scaling Up Climate Finance for Cities and Local Governments of Africa

New York, USA – 22nd September 2019, Hotel Grand Hyatt at the eve of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s Climate Task Force will host a High Level Side Event at the Hotel Grand Hyatt between 16.00 – 18.00.

This week has seen unprecedented reactions from millions of people across the world, many of them youth that have been taking part in protests calling for action against climate change. Cities and Local Governments from across Africa also joined climate strikes as the vulnerabilities of climate change continue to devastate the continent with storms like tropical cyclone idai that killed more than 1,300 people earlier this year to deforestation through human activity that is plaguing Sub-Sahara Africa. Youth have taken to the streets and demonstrated across African cities from Ghana to Lagos, Nairobi to South Africa demanding climate justice for all.

Stepping up climate action in Africa will take creative thinking and new and innovative approaches to win this race. This is particularly an issue for countries committed to the Paris Agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa and it’s Climate Task Force have held structured dialogues with Ministers, cities, sub national and local government leaders to highlight the pressing need for the localisation of these contributions. During the Abidjan Dialogue back in 2017 the phrase was coined by UCLG Africa Climate Task Force Locally Determined Contributions (LDCs) that will be critical to improve the ambition of countries’ NDCs and to meet the long-term temperature goals. It is clear that to achieve this requires all stakeholders, to be involved in localised actions. This process will lead to a better inclusion of the contributions of the city and local governments in the definition of the Nationally Determined Contributions. To that regard, UCLG Africa has also proposed an innovation in the formulation of the LDCs to be done in the framework of institutionalised horizontal multi-stakeholders and vertical multi-governance structured dialogues, following which contractual arrangements will be concluded for the effective implementation of the NDCs on the ground, at the level of cities and territories, where the bulk of the actions to address climate change challenges must be undertaken. Jean-Pierre Elong-Mbassi, Secretary General of UCLG Africa emphasises that “the fight against climate change will be lost or won in cities and territories, depending on the way and urgency in which leaders of local and regional governments invest in, or be associated to climate action.”

The High Level Event will boost a range of high-profile speakers and they will set out the challenges and opportunities for financing adaptation and mitigation efforts across Africa over two informative interactive panel sessions, including a review of the legal and institutional conditions, and scaling up and accessing climate finance.

The event will be opened by

– Mr Jean-Pierre Elong-Mbassi – Secretary General, UCLG Africa

– Mr. Basary TOURE the Vice-President of the West African Development Bank (BOAD)

– Mr Mohammed Boudra, Vice President of the UCLG Africa

The two panel sessions will be facilitated by

– Tomasz Chruszczow, High Level Climate Champion “COP 24”

– Mr Jean-Pierre Elong-Mbassi – Secretary General, UCLG Africa

The first panel, will address the legal and institutional conditions that should be in place to ensure that climate finance reaches the city and local governments in order to speed up NDCs’ implementation and improve their ambition. This panel will include decision-making leaders at the national, city and local government level from across Africa and will include

– H.E Mr. Lee James Taylor WHITE, Forestry & environment Minister, GABON

– H.E Mr. Joseph Seka Seka, Minister of Environment of COTE d’IVOIRE

– H.E Mr. Lassané KABONE, Minister of Economy, Finance and Development, Minister Delegate for Development, Burkina Faso

– Ms. Quite Djata, State Secretary for the Environment and Biodiversity, GUINEA BISSAU

– Hon. Mohamed Adjei Sowa, Mayor of Accra, GHANA

– Mr. Gorißen Norbert, Deputy Director General, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMU)

The second panel will specifically address the financing of the NDCs implementation, especially at the city and territorial level. The issue of the eligibility of climate projects presented by city and territorial governments will be discussed in terms of their amount, scope, sectors, maturity period with the view of scaling up climate finance in Africa ensuring that Africa is not “short changed” and is able to access green finance and implement climate action on the ground and will include

– Mr. Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth African Development Bank (AfDB)

– Mr. Basary Touré, Vice-President of the West African Development Bank (BOAD)

– Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB)

– Ms. Angela Churie Kallhauge, Senior Climate Change Specialist/ Head, Carbon World Bank

– Mr. Jahan Chowdhury, Director of Country Engagement NDC PARTNERSHIP

The event will be closed with the official signing of the MOU between UCLG Africa’s Climate Task Force and the West African Development Bank. Followed by a cocktail reception.

Official signing of the MOU will take place at 18.00

Hotel Grand Hyatt New York 109th and 42nd Street | New York, NY 10017