Zim to host 5th Africa climate change Indaba
Zimbabwe will next week host the fifth Climate Change and Development in Africa conference (CCAC) to help government officials and other stakeholders from across the continent to gear up for the United Nations COP 21 climate change conference that will take place from 30 November to 11 December this year in Paris.
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told journalists in the capital this week that the climate conference will be held in Victoria Falls from October 27-30.
She said the climate conference aimed to deepen the understanding of the role of climate data, information services and climate knowledge in development planning and climate proofing of Africa’s economic development processes.
“Secondly we want to share experiences and deepen the understanding of climate trends and the impacts of climate change in key development sectors in Africa and the implications of these experiences for the continent’s sustainable development,” the Minister said.
Thirdly, she said, the conference would aim to develop common African positions on the post Kyoto Protocol global climate governance regime and prepare for the implementation of the post – CoP 21 phase such as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
The conference, which builds from the previous CCAC, will be held under the theme: “Africa, Sustainable Development and Climate Change: Prospects of Paris and Beyond.”
The conference is an initiative of the African Union Commission (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca).
“We want Africa to speak with one voice at Paris conference,” Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said.
“We expect rich industrialised countries to honour their pledges for the US$100 billion which was assigned for climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.”
The Environment, Water and Climate ministry will hold side-events before the climate conference to discuss evidence-based climate interventions in Zimbabwe and how the country could create an enabling environment for resilient development.
Climate change has massive implications for development in Africa, which is being hardest hit by the phenomenon yet it is the least contributor to climate change.
Negotiations between Africa, other developing nations and rich industrialised countries have stalled over commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions as well as issues relating to funding of various climate change programmes.
Global efforts to tackle climate change problems started at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where the ‘Rio Convention’ included the adoption of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
This convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”
The UNFCCC which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has a near-universal membership of 195 parties.
The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation.
This year’s COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.
The conference is expected to attract close to 50 000 participants including 25 000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society. The Victoria Falls conference will be a key platform to consolidate Africa’s position at the forthcoming CoP 21 conference.