African cities are among the biggest casualties of climate change in the world with many cases of flooding and droughts. However, in a bid to reduce the causes of this phenomenon, and limit the damages to countries globally, the Paris Climate Agreement was instituted to chart a new sustainable path for the world.
In furtherance of that pact, political heads of major cities in Africa recently revealed their commitment to bold climate action and pledged to deliver on their share of the Paris Agreement. The commitments were made yesterday in Lagos, at the launch of the C40 Climate Action Planning Africa Programme. It was attended by the Governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode; Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah; senior city representatives of the participating cities and Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities.
“Cities in Africa are the fastest growing anywhere in the world,” the Mayor of Paris & Chair of C40, Anne Hidalgo said.
“The commitment of these nine mayors to bold climate leadership will deliver a sustainable future for these dynamic, and outward-looking cities. It once again proves that cities are getting the job done and concretely delivering on the Paris Agreement to secure a bright future for all our citizens.”
The cities of Lagos, Accra, Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Johannesburg & Tshwane pledge their support to the C40’s Climate Action Planning Africa Programme that will provide direct support to the 9 African cities in developing unprecedented, robust and evidence-based long-term climate action plans that align with the ambitious objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The support will include a dedicated city advisor based in each city, a series of workshops, and access to expert technical advice as needed. Nairobi and Abidjan have also joined the programme and are anticipated to submit their climate action commitments soon.
The C40 Climate Action Planning Africa Programme is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.
The Mayor of Accra, Hon M. Adjei Sowah, expressed the severity of the current situation and pointed out some of the urgent actions these cities must begin to take to save the continent. “We cannot ignore the implications of what will befall us if we do not act now. A business as usual approach to our quest for socio-economic development will not aid in addressing the threat of climate change.”
“Part of the actions we need is the creation of a vision that embodies our passion to plan and implement initiatives that mitigate the negative effects or aids us to be able to adapt to the impacts. Lagos has given us the opportunity to come together as African Cities leading the way to interpret the Paris Agreement for the understanding of every man, woman and child in our local communities. There is more beyond this meeting, and those are the things we must prepare to address,” he explained.
Cape Town, one of Africa’s megacities faced one of the world’s most dramatic urban water crises. The situation which might have been exacerbated by climate change almost left the city without water for its residents. The Day Zero – the day the city would run out of water and the taps would be shut off – never came, but the risk of running out of water remains evergreen.
C40 Cities also launched the C40 Climate Action Planning Framework and online Resource Centre, which have been designed to support city climate planners deliver ambitious climate action.
The C40 Climate Action Planning Framework was developed in consultation with cities participating in the Deadline 2020 pilot programme – Boston, Durban, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mexico City, New York City and Paris – the Framework outlines the essential components of a climate action plan that is deemed to be compatible with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The framework is designed for flexibility, recognising the diversity of cities and their individual contexts.