Africities 2015: AFRICA MAYORS’ VOICE TO COP21

African Mayors will play an active part at the COP 21 conference in Paris. The issue of climate change occupied an important place in most speeches during the opening ceremony of Africities7. In fact, United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG-A) organizes this 1 December, a joint session with ICLEI.

During the Africities7 Summit, climate change will be an important issue. On this occasion, ICLEI (Local Governments For Sustainability) and UCLG-A will run a joint session this Tuesday, December 01, entitled: “SU12 New context of climate change and Africa’s Local Government preparation towards UNFCCC COP 21/CMP11 in Paris”.

Faith Chikeya, professional Officer at ICLEI, expressed some expectations of local governments at the COP21 conference in Paris: “All eyes are turned on Paris. Everyone expects an agreement to be reached. At our level, during our joint session with UCLG-A, we will be seeking to explore innovative ways in which local governments in Africa can promote the implementation of the agenda, tools and strategies needed for cities to increase their resilience and adaptation to climate change”, she said.

This session will also be looking to promote knowledge-sharing regarding sustainable access to energy and energy security through the implementation of the Durban Adaptation Charter.

In addition, the session will provide a platform for African local authorities “to share a roadmap on their preparation towards participating in the upcoming UNFCCC COP 21/CMP 11 in Paris and the expected outcomes that will strategically profile local governments as key players in the implementation of the post -2015 Agenda”, explain Mrs. Faith Chikeya.

In Mrs Chikeya’s opinion, in Paris through the advocacy process after the recognition of local governments as key players, “there must also be an active engagement and also increased empowerment of Local Governments to address the issue of climate change at the local level”.

Mrs Chikeya argues that Africa and the rest of the World expect the signing of commitments for carbon emission reductions. Developed countries “need to reduce their emission target. I am happy to say that more than twenty cities in Africa have already signed the Compact of Mayors that is a global coalition of the world’s leading mayors and city leaders committed to ambitious and transparent climate action”.

In Paris, Local Governments should take actions “because is at the local level that the impact of climate change affects most residents. Ms Kobie Brand, ICLEI Africa Regional Director, ‎ is currently on Paris attending the climate negotiations”, said Faith Chikeya.

In the COP21 pavilion, Local Governments have a platform named  Transformative Actions Programme (TAP). The goal of this platform is to try to establish a bridge between the private sector and Local governments so that they can work together. TAP is a collaborative effort between ICLEI , UCLG, C40 and some European Cities.

For the record, ICLEI is a Local governments’ and Local Authorities’ focal point for UNFCCC since 1995.  It is a leading player on the Local Government climate roadmap.

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MAYOR’S REACTIONS

“Address issues on pollution and urbanization”, Cllr Samuel Munthali president of LGAZ (Local Government Association of Zambia)

«I expect the summit go to address issue on the pollution. We are face with this challenge of urbanization. People moving to the bigger cities , this cities don’t have much resources to take up that can of development that is coming in,  and there not consideration what so ever  in terms of environmental aspect.  So it is expect that will be some guidance on the special planning for this cities. For African countries it is expected that there will be a way of train to help financially for us to attain what we want to attain as Africa. Otherwise if that is not address, I think we are hearding to a very serious problem”

“Find solution to remove old machinery in Africa”, Cllr Phiri Patrick Chisamba, Mayor for Zambia (Zambia)

“The expectation as African is if they can address: 1) Climate change:  Most of climate change which affecting Zambia and Africa throughout is some of the machinery, you know as Africans emission of gases, these are the products which are coming into our countries from develop countries. Most of the machinery imported in African countries from developed countries are out-dated and therefore causing a lot of harm to our environment. If new machinery; which is safe for our environment can be imported from Developed countries to replace the old ones, it will go a long way to save our Continents climate change. In Paris, if they can respect our decision as African leaders they implement what we want, then thing can move and change. In our city the principal climate change are the miners: because mines are the most pollution companies and if they can also address that like in Zambia we have sulphuric acid discharge in our rivers; all this can affect our climate.