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Remain Steadfast In Fighting For Climate Justice, AU Urges Member States

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The African Union (AU) has urged its member countries to remain steadfast in their fight for climate justice in order to achieve the desired results in Africa.

AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat gave the charge in his opening remarks at the African Day event which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing 27th United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) in Egypt.

The ‘Africa Day’ provided countries and development partners, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the opportunity to highlight measures to tap the continent’s unique economic potential.

The event was organized by the AU Commission, AfDB, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the New Economic Partnership for Africa (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency.

Hundreds of young people from across the continent seized the chance to urge the world’s industrialized nations to deliver on their climate finance pledges and other commitments to Africa without further delay. They also presented a symbolic torch to their leaders as a constant reminder for climate action.

Mahamat also noted that the challenges facing Africa in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war had become enormous, adding that it had taken a toll on government budgets across the continent.

“Work is going on across the continent, many governments have rolled out initiatives to address climate impacts and build resilience. But the challenges are huge, and time is not on our side”, he told the audience.

Similarly, the Kenyan Minister of State for Environment and Forestry, Soipan Tuya said Africa remained a strong force in the climate negotiations.

“To maintain this unity of purpose, it remains important that the negotiators and the AU are in continuous dialogue and engagement”, she added. She also called on developed nations to scale up mitigation actions and support.

Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Director for the UNECA, Antonio Pedro expressed optimism for Africa’s future, saying that a bright future awaits the continent despite its challenges.

“We need to change the African narratives from a country of challenges to a continent of opportunities”, he stressed.

He noted that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for example, had the world’s largest cobalt reserve to manufacture electric vehicle batteries.

“We must invest in the green recovery, ensure just energy transition to universal access to electricity. We must build agriculture and food systems”, he added.

Petro also observed that accelerating food systems is essential to achieving the AU’s Agenda 2063.

Notably, the AU Commission and the Global Center for Adaption signed a memorandum of understanding to mobilize at least $25 billion for the African Adaptation

Acceleration Program—established by the Center and the AfDB, over five years. This is to prepare the continent for the consequences of climate change faster and at scale.

President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said with Africa’s vast and unique arable land, what the continent does with agriculture could impact global output. “But we cannot unlock our agriculture potential unless we adapt to climate change”, he cautioned.

Dr. Adesina pointed to the fact that the AfDB Group was leading many climate action initiatives to boost mitigation and adaption. He said initiatives include scaling up adaption finance, providing farmers with climate-resilient technologies, supporting the youth to adapt to climate change, and launching the ‘desert-to-power’ solar energy project to turn the Sahel region into a renewable energy powerhouse.

Young people at the event called on the AU to ensure that the conference implement decisions reached at the meetings with no further delay. “We are making a request as young people that adaptation is of importance to the African people. We want action now,” youth leader Lucky Abeng said.

COP27, commonly referred to as “the African COP,” allows Africa to spotlight its special needs, circumstances and opportunities.

It is also expected to deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency – from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=82876

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