• COP28

The road continues past COP28

  • The Africa-Europe Foundation

The Africa-Europe Foundation was on the ground in Dubai for the 28th UN Climate Change Conference, driving discussions on innovative finance and bridging climate development sector silos.

Here are our key takeaways:

1. Collaboration is critical

Climate change is a global challenge with critical local impacts. Timely progress to mitigate and adapt to these at scale is dependent on collaboration that breaks through cross-border, cross-sectoral and financial silos. We need more than ever to invest in effective partnerships that deliver. Bringing together diverse actors and organisations, from civil society to policymakers and academia, to shape development cooperation that embeds interconnections in its modus operandi, looking at adaptation, health, agri-food and energy as one, is critical.

Read the announcement of AEF’s new partnership with the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, here.

2. Metrics and indicators are essential to monitor progress

The COP28 Declarations on Health and Agriculture and Food Systems are positive steps acknowledging the cross-sectoral nature of climate change. What still needs to be addressed are time-bound metrics and indicators. Bringing together stakeholders across sectors and roles, from health, environment and agriculture, is essential to establish the usefulness and requirements of indicators, understanding how they should be defined, who will use them and how.

3. Youth have solutions

Education, skills and financing remain key concerns for young people. Youth led projects on sensibilisation, climate education via sports, advocacy during elections, and data collection via surveys are already underway and should be accelerated for greater impact. Microgrants can play a clear role in kickstarting, piloting and scaling-up these projects.

4. Mayors are frontline policymakers in the climate-health agenda

A strong and effective cross continental partnership at the multilateral level requires the buy-in of local actors and communities. They are at the heart of the development and implementation of context-specific, needs-based, sustainable solutions, particularly when looking at the health impacts of climate change and system resilience. Cities should thus be at the forefront of the discussion, and policymakers and funders must scale up efforts to spark local innovation, strengthen the local health workforce and infrastructure, and direct flexible and affordable financing to community-led approaches for climate adaptation.

Read our joint report with Foundation S on catalysing solutions for community action on adaptation for health equity, here.

Carbon pricing and the impacts of the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism were front and center when discussing available tools to reach Paris Agreement objectives. An Africa Europe Partnership on carbon markets can be leveraged for knowledge sharing and capacity building to ensure quality and integrity in African carbon credits and markets, which may pave the path for future access to the EU market as countries work towards net-zero objectives.

Read the joint AEF – CAP-A report on carbon pricing and trading, here.

6. 2024 is the year of Clean Cooking

If COP28 is any indication, next year will bring key advancements in the clean cooking sector. We saw great momentum with the African Development Bank’s commitment to allocate up to 20% of its annual energy lending to clean cooking solutions and Tanzania’s launch of the African Women Clean Cooking Support Programme. With nearly 1 billion people in Africa still without access to clean cooking, the intention to form an Africa Clean Cooking Consortium was announced by the AfDB, International Energy Agency and Clean Cooking Alliance. This is an important step that elevates the climate-health-energy agenda.

With a direct impact on food security, livelihoods and the well-being of ecosystems, oceans and blue economy in the Africa-Europe partnership would greatly benefit from a cross-continental network of knowledge hubs. These include the recently designated AU Centres of Excellence, which contribute to evidence-based policy making and programming. The following years will be critical in shaping the global agenda on ocean governance and mark an opportunity to advance global treaties, discussions on WTO fishery subsidies, and capacity sharing to increase the number of Marine Protected Areas and Locally Managed Marine Areas.

Read the opinion piece by H.E. Nancy Karigithu and Pascal Lamy, co-chairs of our Oceans Strategy Group, here, as well as our report on the potential of Africa-Europe cooperation in the sector, here.