Background

The 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 8th Session of the Meeting of the Parties (CMP8) to the Kyoto Protocol will take place at the Qatar National Convention Center in Doha, Qatar, from Monday, November 26 to Friday, December 7, 2012. The COP18-CMP8 constitutes an important milestone for climate change negotiations with much-anticipated opportunities for implementation.

Last year the COP17/CMP7 negotiations were held on African soil. The African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Government of the Republic of South Africa affirmed that Africa is not among the leading causes of climate change but stands to lose the most. Africa was well represented, hosting the Africa Pavilion, where more than 100 events took place. At the negotiations, the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action agreed to extend and strengthen commitments to building a unified framework for climate change. It was also agreed that there would be a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Following COP17/CMP7, it was announced that the Republic of South Korea would host the Green Climate Fund. The decision will be presented for endorsement at COP18/CMP8 in Doha, Qatar.

For COP-18/CMP8, there is much hope and optimism that the negotiations will move beyond past constraints towards implementation. This will include advancing the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the infrastructure and support of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), and the Durban Platform from lengthy negotiations to implementation. More importantly, with the decision for Republic of South Korea to host the Green Climate Fund, there is an opportunity to decide how to implement the commitment of financial support to developing countries, especially those in Africa.

Climate change and development issues are at the forefront of the discussions during the COP18/CMP8. Last year, Africa’s voice was heard; this year, there is the opportunity to showcase demonstrated experience, expertise and success housed on the continent. Africa needs to seize this moment and capitalize on the opportunities presented by demonstrating existing capacity.

The AfDB has supported the African Group of Negotiators throughout the year, ensuring their preparedness and ability to contribute to the process. The African Development Bank is hosting discussions, addressing a host of climate change and development issues and the ensuing implications for Africa.

The highlight of the participation of the AfDB at COP18/CMP8 will be the high-level event that will draw eminent speakers to discuss this year’s conference theme, “Financing Climate Change: Africa’s Access to Convention Funds”. Speakers for this event will include the President of the African Development Bank Group, the CEO of the Global Environment Fund, the Commissioner of the African Union Commission, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the Minister from the EU and selected African Ministers.

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"The AfDB can play an important role in enhancing direct access to the GCF by African countries."

Read more about the report "Getting Africa Ready for the Green Climate Fund"