African Climate Policy Center and Development Partners Roundtable

Today, 15 December, the Africa Climate Policy center (ACPC) organized a development partners round table. The objective was to present a new strategy that repositions ACPC within the Economic Commission of Africa’s (ECA) institutional architecture as a center of reference, responding to new realities and harnessing emerging opportunities in the transition towards climate resilient development.

The Norwegian Ambassador Andreas Gaarder made a statement which is shared below:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have passed the moment in time when we thought climate actions were contradicting economic growth and development.

On the contrary, the New Climate Economy report showed that climate actions can give better and more sustainable economic growth. Furthermore, unmitigated climate change will undermine the fundament for growth and in the long term the basis for our existence on this planet.

Making the right choice should be easy.

The African continent is uniquely positioned to show the way towards climate smart growth and a sustainable economy.

This continent can build its wealth on climate smart growth, not exploitation, deforestation and pollution and land degradation.

Climate smart growth requires investments – in peoples’ education and competence, in innovation and technology development, and politically, in the form of commitments, policies and laws.

We have joint responsibility for these investments.

Without national commitment to green growth, operationalized through the country’s regulatory framework, any additional investment risk being nothing more than business as usual.

However, let us not forget that the African continent is contributing the least to greenhouse gas emissions globally, but already suffering from the negative impact climate change. It is also the continent with the fastest growing population and with great need of development.

We cannot expect the continent to carry the costs of greening the economy alone. It has to be shared by the international community, by private businesses and by the countries of Africa.

National and international commitments have already been made. Both in the Paris agreement, the sustainable development goals and in the Aichi biodiversity targets, setting a shared direction of travel.

The Paris Agreement from 2015 has entered into force. All countries under the climate convention will contribute to climate change mitigation as laid out in the National Determined Contributions reflecting their highest possible ambition.

The last of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is a commitment to partnerships for reaching the goals. The Paris Agreement also clearly recognizes the need to support developing countries to ensure its effective implementation.

We now have an unprecedented global commitment to sustainable development.

As a close partner to the African Climate Policy Center, I am therefore pleased to see that the Center intends to contribute to transforming these commitments into action.

Climate change adaptation and mitigation can only be successful if fully integrated and aligned with national targets for growth and development. The African Climate Policy Center can play an instrumental role in this work by advising, informing and distributing best practices.

We are looking forward to today’s discussion on the future direction of this work.