2023 is expected to see significant progress in the global financial architecture reform and preparation for the first UNFCCC Global Stocktake (GST), delivered at COP28.
As such, AEF has set out to publish policy briefs intended to inform and frame options for decision-makers to work with African and European actors in Adaptation, building trust and consensus on complex topics and mainstreaming the theme of Adaptation within the cross-continental Partnership.
The policy briefs seek to further position the AEF relative to the sequence of recently concluded international milestones, including the Africa Climate Summit, the G20, UNGA78, WB/IMF Autumn meetings, the Climate and Development Ministerial (C&DM), the Pre-COP ministerial meeting, and the upcoming COP28.
First Policy Brief – Bridging the African and European Adaptation Agendas
The brief outlines good adaptation practice – fundamental principles, what works well, and current lessons. The two continents' multiple regions face a growing common challenge to which they need to find immediate and longer-term solutions.
It informs the Africa–Europe Foundation's engagement with European and African policymakers and stimulates thinking and practice to enhance cross-continental adaptation cooperation. This brief reviews the setting today covers good adaptation practices, and makes suggestions for the Foundation's work over the period to COP28.
The two continents would benefit from strengthening a shared vision on Adaptation, building a solid partnership by reinforcing a joint learning platform from which experts can share know-how and best practices, and develop cross-continental solutions.
Second Policy Brief – Bridging the African and European Adaptation Finance Agendas
The 2015 Paris Agreement's article 2.1c notes that finance flows should be "consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development." Article 9 calls for developed country parties to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance, which should be a "progression beyond previous efforts."
But there is no agreed definition of what "climate finance" includes. The EU's 2023 submission to the UNFCCC on Article 2.1c acknowledges this. Adaptation is dependent on robust, risk-aware development. But how should one identify the" progression beyond previous efforts" and relate them to climate change, as suggested above? It could be more straightforward. The Annual Meetings of the IMF/WB in Marrakech and the COP28 Global Stocktake presented opportunities for world leaders to discuss this.
In practice, donors score and report on their climate finance, and their methods vary on the percentage of finance estimated as related to climate in any one project and whether they count funds that have been committed or disbursed. Climate finance reporting has, therefore, been criticized as overestimating the actual quantity of finance provided.
The Africa group acknowledges the need to transform the financial system to track finance flows more effectively. Still, the scoring of climate finance is, for Africa, eclipsed by their concern to get more finance flowing and faster, with a focus on a just transition, given Africa's vulnerability and development needs.
Third Policy Brief - Climate and Health: Reinforcing Health at the heart of Adaptation.
Climate-related health impacts burden already overburdened health systems and could reverse hard-won health and development gains. It is estimated that an additional 250,000 annual deaths from diarrhoeal diseases and heat stress could occur between 2030 and 2050 due to climate change. The impacts of climate change on human Health cannot be overstated, and it will require concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including policymakers, researchers, NGOs and others.
Climate change poses a significant threat to public Health in Africa and Europe and significantly impacts the transmission of vector-borne diseases. Its impacts on agriculture could increase the number of food-insecure and malnourished people.
Furthermore, climate-induced displacements and disasters make women more vulnerable to sexual abuse, violence, exploitation and trafficking, increasing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and maternal mortality.
Fourth Policy Brief - Enhancing Africa-Europe Cooperation on Adaptation at COP28
This policy brief outlines the critical role to be played by the Africa-Europe partnership in making progress on Adaptation in advance of COP28. It is now 18 months since the 6th Summit of African and European Heads of State was held in February 2022, at which both continents pledged to promote effective multilateralism within the rules-based international order, with the UN at its core.
Both sides committed to reducing global inequalities, strengthening solidarity, promoting international cooperation, fighting and mitigating climate change, and improving the delivery of 'global public goods'.
Since February 2022, much has happened regarding geo-political tensions, which inevitably impact global agreements and relationships between countries and blocs. Nevertheless, the EU continues to work on implementing its Adaptation Mission and Strategy, while the AU has agreed to its own Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy (2022-2032). These strategies provide a strong foundation for a shared approach to Adaptation.