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Africa: Joint Statement on Climate Change Agenda Issued

(Oct. 28, 2010) It was reported on October 24, 2010, that a joint committee comprising the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the African Union Commission (AUC) issued a Consensus Statement on climate change matters of key importance to Africa. The statement, which contains a 56-point agenda, was the outcome of the Seventh African Development Forum (ADF VII) convened recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Kamal Tayo Oropo, African Climate Change Forum Approves 56-Point Agenda, THE GUARDIAN (Lagos), Oct. 14, 2010,

According to the forum's invited stakeholders from governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector, “based on the evidence and impact of climate change,” countries that are major emitters of greenhouse gases should make deep emission cuts. They also called upon the international community to support the African continent's promotion of “broad-based, equitable, resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable growth.” (Press Release No. 73/1010, AU-ECA-AfDB, Climate Change Forum Concludes with High-Level Support Around 56 Points of Agreement (Oct. 18, 2010),

Among other points set forth in the Consensus Statement, the forum participants agreed that:

  • the capacity of the Conference of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) should be strengthened in order to mobilize political commitment and leadership in regional and international courses of action on climate change(?), through providing it with reliable, timely information and policy advice on climate change and having African Union summits bolster that capacity by endorsing the CAHOSCC's actions;
  • there should enhancement of African-led research and knowledge, stronger rule of law and regulatory framework to build the capacities of non-state actors, and creation of an enabling environment for the private sector so that it can support low-carbon development;
  • African countries should put more effort into climate risk management procedures, including monitoring, assessment, early warning, and disaster risk reduction.
  • African climate change negotiators “will pursue a binding and fair global agreement, with provision of adequate financing for adaptation works in Africa,” and strongly support the AfDB's establishment of the Africa Green Fund. African countries should also “move on adaptation initiatives instead of waiting for the negotiations to mobilize resources”(id.); and
  • efforts should be made to build a climate-change knowledge repository and to develop plans in connection with science, technology, and innovation capacity-building for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, and relevant institutions involved in the provision of climate data, official statistics, and geographic information should be strengthened. (Id.; Consensus Statement, The Seventh African Development Forum: “Acting on Climate Change for Sustainable Development in Africa” (Oct. 10-15, 2010),

The Consensus Statement will form part of the international dialogue in advance of the COP 16 meeting in Cancun, Mexico, scheduled for November 29-December 10, 2010. (COP 16 is the sixteenth Conference of Parties; the COP is the supreme body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.) The document will also “further inform Africa's common negotiating position on climate change” and “form the basis for the preparation of an African Action Plan on Climate Change” to be implemented jointly by the AfDB, ECA, and AUC in collaboration with stakeholders and partners. (Press Release, supra; The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (last visited Oct. 27, 2010).)