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The triple ambition for Africa at the COP26

Ambition on Adaptation, Ambition on Mitigation and Ambition on Means of Implementation

According to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mean temperatures and hot extremes have emerged above natural variability relative to 1850 – 1900 in all land regions and the rate of surface temperature increase has generally been more rapid in Africa than the global average.

What is interesting in this analysis is that the major driver of the temperature increase in Africa is largely human-induced. As the world prepares to meet in Glasgow, UK from the 31th of October to November 12th 2021 for the UNFCCC COP 26, there is no doubt that the world is at a critical juncture and it is imperative that Glasgow provides the hope to solve the climate crisis.

For Africa, COP 26 offers an opportunity for Africa to seek and push for solutions (climate-positive actions) that will chart a sustainable pathway towards its recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic.  Keeping the global temperature below 1.5 degree Celsius would require getting all hands on deck through a broad-based mobilization of all stakeholders to further step up action in line with the Paris Objectives. There is no denial that Africa needs to be at the heart of these negotiations as echoed by the Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change and COP26 should be an opportunity to foster a whole-of-society approach to combat climate change and its destructive impacts.

COP26 provides an opportunity for countries to present their updated NDCs and according to a WWF report on the NDCs We Want published in September 2021, twenty countries in Africa have submitted new or updated NDCs. Using the #NDCsWeWant Checklist which aim to shine a spotlight on all kinds of progress, encourage best practices, identify key challenges and call out laggards, with the goal of increasing the overall ambition of the NDC process, the NDCs of Rwanda, Ethiopia and Cape Verde qualified as the NDCsWeWant.

So considering the fact that though Africa is responsible for less than 4% of global emissions, it continues to face some of the most worrying climate impacts with direct consequences on some of its key economic sectors like agriculture and which has been exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic. While Africa will be going to Glasgow to speak with one strong, clear and single voice, it needs to ensure that its unique needs are considered in the broader negotiations.

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