Negotiators from  Africa get ready for COP27

WINDHOEK. – The final meeting of African nations’ climate negotiators ahead of the global UN summit kicked off in the Namibian capital Windhoek yesterday.

Participants expected to focus on how to ramp up renewable energy on the continent.

Organisers of the annual Climate Change and Development in Africa conference said the meeting serves as the final chance for the continent’s negotiators, government officials, climate scientists, grassroots civil societies and farming associations to fine tune the continent’s interests and agree on a common position to promote at the climate summit in Egypt in November, known as COP27.

How the continent will transition towards clean energy without leaving the poorest communities behind and ensuring renewables help boost nations’ economies will be a major discussion point for African delegations, according to Africa Climate Policy Centre’s James Murombedzi.

He added that participants are also likely to look at how to finance more renewable power on the continent as well as seek additional funds to help vulnerable communities adapt to weather extremes and ensure food security.

Africa attracted just 2% of the world’s clean energy investment in the last 20 years, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

It’s expected that African nations will urge developed countries to ensure more climate financing at COP27.

Countries want high-polluting nations to pay compensation to countries who have done little to contribute to climate change but are more vulnerable to its effects. This is known as “loss and damage” in climate negotiations.

“As we have argued for decades, adaptation and increasingly loss and damage are the main climate action priorities for the continent,” Mithika Mwenda, one of the meeting’s co-conveners and part of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, said.

Africa is responsible for about 3 percent  to 4 percent of global emissions despite being home to nearly 17 percent of the world’s population but experts say it is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it’s less able to adapt.

Meanwhile, volunteers have cleaned up the sea floor and parts of the beach in the popular Egyptian tourist spot of Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday, collecting several bags of plastic waste.

Dozens of volunteers came from all over the city to remove plastic waste that had been piling up.

Diving trainer Marwa Wasim said everything from single-use plastic materials to metals and tires was collected from the sea floor.

The campaign comes weeks ahead of the UN’s COP-27 conference in the Red Sea resort in November.

Building on the outcomes and momentum of COP-26 in Glasgow, nations are expected to step up and fulfil their commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Egyptian Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad said the upcoming conference needs to be about “active participation”, not just “slogans”. –

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