All set for world climate conference in Bonn (COP23)

World climate conference at UNFCCC’s home

The United Nations 23rd climate conference, COP23, takes place in  Bonn, Germany from 6 to 17 November 2017. For the first time, the  world conference on  the fight against climate change is being chaired by a small island nation, Fiji, which would have actually hosted the event. But  this Pacific archipelago particularly threatened by climate change does not have the capacity to host the 15,000 to 20,000 delegates expected to attend from the four corners of the world. As a result, the conference is being held in Bonn, home of the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Paris Agreement: after ratification, urgent need for implementation

COP23 will, above all, be an opportunity for the international community to take stock of the Paris Agreement, approved on 12 December 2015 after COP21 in the French capital, and to reiterate the urgent need to act to contain global warming.

Ratified so far by 168 countries - including 43 in Africa - and by the European Union, the Paris Agreement stipulates limiting global warming to below 2°C, or even 1.5°C.

COP23 will also be the first to be held since United States President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw his country from the Paris Agreement, an intention which cannot, however, come into effect before November 2020. And until then, the United States will  continue to take part in the negotiations on the Agreement's rules of application, to better defend its "national interests".

The specific task of COP23 is to make progress on the rules of application of the Paris Agreement, a technical and eminently political step. How are countries to report their actions? What monitoring should there be of the financial assistance pledged by rich nations? What should be done to ensure that rich nations will keep their promises? How can it be ensured that the most vulnerable countries, from Africa or elsewhere, do not lose out in these international negotiations?

Africa first in line

The urgency is even more acute for Africa, one of the areas of the world most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as evidenced by the terrible drought that occurred in East Africa this  yea. In the ten-year period from 1995 to 2015, Africa suffered 136 periods of drought, 77 of which were in East Africa alone.

Drought, flood, rising sea levels, extreme weather events that threaten people's food security … the climate change "bill" is a huge one for Africa which, however, contributes less than 4% of world greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Of the 10 countries in the world considered most threatened by climate change, 7 are African: Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. And climate change is responsible for shaving off 1.4  GDP percentage points in Africa every year.

AfDB in pole position to defend Africa's interests

Strongly present at previous COP events to make the voice of Africa better heard in world climate negotiations and to defend Africa's interests on the international arena, the African Development Bank will be present once again in Bonn, represented by by many experts, specialists in electricity, energy, climate and green growth, to make the case and pursue its mission: to provide African countries the resources to address climate change and to begin their transition towards green, low-carbon development. And to do this, the countries of Africa must be able to access the promised funding.