As an appointed technical partner for the first (Africa Climate Summit (4 -6 September 2023), the Africa-Europe Foundation (AEF) is committed to facilitating its follow-up and implementation in critical domains of cross-continental cooperation.
At the Summit, AEF convened its network of experts to bring into focus untapped opportunities within the Africa-Europe partnership, from blue economy and carbon markets to reinforcing health at the centre of global climate action.
AEF areas of action to underpin Africa Climate Summit implementation:
1. A strong Africa-Europe Partnership is critical in the face of an increasingly multipolar world
A strong Africa-Europe Partnership is critical in the face of an increasingly multipolar world and ongoing challenges to peace and stability, which impact progress towards meeting Agendas 2030 and 2063. Together the two continents can play a leading role in offering such stability by unlocking opportunities for joint action and innovation in climate and development. Building on the momentum from the Africa Climate Summit, the establishment of coalitions of interest involving champion countries in Africa and partner countries in Europe, would ensure greater agility and speed in addressing issues and opportunities of common interest across domains, from energy access to food security.
2. The impacts of climate change on human health are irrefutable.
The impacts of climate change on human health are irrefutable. It is time to actively challenge silos to ensure the health-climate-development nexus underpins all areas of cross continental cooperation from agri-food to energy. This means climate mitigation efforts are just one side of the climate action coin. They must be matched by community-led adaptation solutions that embed health outcomes and strengthen health resilience. To this end, systematic investments in workforces and infrastructure are needed for health workers to be equipped with the knowledge, tools and financing to address current needs and future shocks.
3. Strengthening ocean governance and blue economy
Strengthening ocean governance and blue economy as a strategic domain for cooperation would empower local communities and support climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, while regenerating blue landscapes at scale. Given Africa and Europe’s geographic positioning, with the majority of EU and AU Member States having coastlines, a co-designed Africa Europe roadmap for an equitable blue partnership is both practical and essential to address the triple crises of climate, biodiversity and pollution. AEF’s new report lays out the state of play and recommendations to strengthen cooperation and forge a mutually beneficial vision on this untapped sector of common interest..
4. Merging Africa’s carbon potential with the EU’s expertise can unlock opportunities for expanded carbon markets
Merging Africa’s carbon potential with the EU’s expertise can unlock opportunities for expanded carbon markets that reduce greenhouse gases and generate climate finance. Together, Europe and Africa can shape good governance, and build capacity and incentive structures for a fair and inclusive carbon credit trade. Following Kenya's Climate Change Act 2023 and the implementation of its national Carbon Market Activation Plan at the Africa Climate Summit, AEF’s Africa-Europe Working Group on Carbon Markets will rally cross continental cooperation and scope partnerships to support the replication of these plans at country levels, specifically from a technical, regulatory, jurisdictional and financial perspective.
5. Catalysing cooperation to address illicit financial flows (IFFs)
Catalysing cooperation to address illicit financial flows (IFFs) is needed to narrow financing gaps. IFFs represent a critical constraint to unlocking African domestic resources for community investments, particularly at a time of fiscal tightening and increasing debt distress. Current estimates put these outflows from Africa at between US$80bn and US$150bn per year, coupled with external debt service payments of nearly US$69 billion in 2023. Jointly addressing IFFs - which move across continents – through inclusive tax cooperation, the efficient exchange of information and increased transparency on company ownership, would unlock billions in finance.