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Last week the second African Climate talks were held to identify new ways to alleviate the climate and development crises facing the continent.
Debasu Bayleyegn, the Director of Climate Change Implementation Coordination at the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry, opened the meeting and facilitated discussions on climate governance, Africa’s participation in global climate negotiations, as well as weather and climate information services, among other topics.
“As we all know the reality of climate change is starting to bite. More extreme weather conditions are no longer a prediction – they are real and they are happening today. Particularly we the African people are facing the sharp end of climate change and it hampers our stability to achieve the development needs of our population,” said Debasu.
The Director further stated that the 2015 Paris Agreement, although a huge success for the planet, is not an end by itself, nations need to work together to see its implementation. .
“We need all countries to take urgent ambitious climate actions,” he said, adding Ethiopia was on the way to develop long-term NDCs,” he added.
According to James Murombedzi, Officer in Charge of the Economic Commission for Africa’s African Climate Policy Center (ACPC), the recently signed three accords which are the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Kigali Declaration and the Protocol on the Free Movement of People, will lead to a more integrated continent.
He further underlined that climate change representsa massive challenge for Africa, given the reliance of the continent’s economies and societies on climate sensitive natural resource-based activities, its limited capacity to adapt to climate disruption, and its relatively limited influence in the global political economy.
He said the Africa Climate Talks, an initiative of the ACPC and the ClimDev-Africa Initiative, aim to stimulate a wide-ranging discourse informed by the emerging African common positions on a range of pertinent issues, and also to create platforms for the discussions of African perspectives on key issues in the linkages between climate change and Africa’s transformative development trajectories.
“ The initiatives will enhance public awareness of climate change; its implications, challenges and opportunities for Africa and facilitate critical reflection on the global dynamics of climate governance and the possible implications of these on Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development,” said Murombedzi.