The Africa Climate Week 2021 ACW 2021 Virtual Thematic Sessions are under way this week with calls to action from leading voices from across the region. ACW 2021 is hosted by the Government of Uganda and organized in collaboration with core partners, UN Development Programme, UN Environment and the World Bank Group. Support comes from regional partners, the Africa Union, the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
A wide array of regional stakeholders are showcasing climate action and sharing progress ahead of COP26 on the submission of stronger national climate plans – Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – under the Paris Agreement. NDCs include plans to build resilience to the inevitable impacts of climate change, including ever more severe frequent floods, storms, fires and droughts. They are complemented by National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), which are of particular relevance for Africa.
Hon. Sam Cheptoris, Minister of Water and Environment of Uganda, said, “We have seen recently that the world is not on course to limit warming to as close to 1.5 degrees C as possible as laid out in the Paris Agreement. This increases risk of severe impacts at a moment in which we are looking to grow quickly. For Africa, this is a generational crisis and one we will have to adapt to. In the face of the climate crisis, Africa must come together and chart a course to low-emission growth that is good for all Africans and the world”.
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa praised the ACW 2021 host country of Uganda for their leadership on climate change. In addition to hosting ACW 2021, Uganda is the first African country to develop a National NDC Partnership Plan to implement their NDC through collaboration with more than 15 partners.
“Africa Climate Week builds momentum for a successful COP26. It brings governments, business leaders and civil society together to engage in solution-oriented dialogue and showcase climate action. It’s also an opportunity to foster collaboration on pressing challenges and build resilience against growing climate risks in the region. Ambition must be the word guiding everything we do. We are in a race against time,” she said.
ACW 2021 also aims to provide information on the UN’s Race to Zero and Race to Resilience campaigns, while ensuring that regional voices are heard in the multilateral climate process.
There are three key areas in focus at ACW 2021:
- Integrating ambitious action in key economic sectors into national planning
- Adapting to climate risks and building resilience
- Seizing transformational opportunities to put the region on a low-emission and highly resilient development pathway.