At the One Planet Summit already in session in France, world leaders including a high powered delegation from Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari himself, are scheduled to address the ecological emergency that faces mankind. Two years after the historic Paris Agreement, experts think thought it was time for concrete action. Already, many stakeholders are taking action and will present projects illustrating the ongoing transition.
Three goals- adaptation, mitigation and mobilisation are the key words that will be promoted by the organisers. The Summit, it must be understood, is an alliance of hundreds of global leaders from all sectors, determined to demonstrate the power of collective action in addressing such a global issue as the fight against climate change. The aim is to find new means of financing the adaptation of ways of life to inevitable transformations, of further speeding up the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and of ensuring climate issues are central to the finance sector.
The international community is agreed on the fact that the consequences of climate change affect everyone, a situation that makes it imperative for each and every stakeholder to act. The Summit is expected to attract not less than 50 speakers among whom are Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), entrepreneurs, investors, government members, local stakeholders and scientists. They will meet to take action around the four round tables. The goal is to identify and implement tangible solutions and mobilise public and private funding to enable large-scale deployment – including in the most vulnerable countries.
Summit organisers indicate that at the heart of the Summit are some 20 projects. They illustrate the fact that concrete local and global solutions exist to address the challenges the world is confronted with. Those projects need to be stepped up and replicated, and to serve as a source of inspiration around the world. They demonstrate that mankind is committed to a new world, to preserve the future of the planet Earth.
Africa Risk Capacity, the Morocco Noor Ouarzazate Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), Africa Hydromet Programme, Supporting Cotton Farmers in Burkina Faso, Tackling deforestation: Central Africa Forest Initiative, Africa GreenCo and the West African Coastal Areas Management Programme (WACA) are the roundtable subjects that impact on the African continent.
The African Risk Capacity (ARC) was established by the African Union (AU) to work with African governments to find better ways to finance responses to disasters on the continent and reduce their reliance on the humanitarian aid. It was also established to work with AU countries to strengthen the public policy and risk management systems involved in managing their climate risks.
The Morocco Noor Ouarzazate Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) project, on its part, is based on technology that uses heat from the sun to drive steam turbines or engines to produce electricity, even at night, through a heat storage mechanism. It is Morocco’s first utility-scale solar energy plant, with the goal of supplying power to over 1 million Moroccans by 2018 and helping her produce 42 per cent of its electricity through renewables by 2020. It brings together financing from international institutions, the private sector and Morocco.
The Africa Hydromet Programme is a partnership of the World Bank, African Development Bank, WMO, AFD, UNDP and other partners. It supports Sub-Saharan countries in strengthening weather and climate services, end-user services (including early warning), and knowledge and advisory services.
One of the programmes, Supporting Cotton Farmers in Burkina Faso, brings the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, in partnership with the Société Burkinabè des Fibres Textiles (SOFITEX), West Africa’s largest cotton company, together to help cotton farmers become more productive, climate-resilient, and food secure.
Tackling deforestation: Central Africa Forest Initiative project draws attention to the challenge of growing deforestation. It also notes that emissions from deforestation represent more than 10 per cent of global carbon emissions. The Central Africa Forest Initiative (CAFI) aims at fighting against deforestation by protecting the Congo Basin forest cover, the second largest tropical rainforest in the world.
The Africa GreenCo addresses a key impediment to developing sub-Saharan Africa’s renewable energy resources at scale – the creditworthiness of power off takers. Africa GreenCo proposes to introduce a government co-owned, independently managed and well-capitalised intermediary off taker to sit between clean energy generators on the one hand and utilities and other power buyers on the other. Finally in this Africa targeted intervention is the West African Coastal Areas Management Programme (WACA) which focuses on 17 West African countries with the intention to improve the management of shared natural and man-made risks affecting coastal communities.
It is the view of this newspaper that at the end of the Summit, Africa would have effectively articulated its position on the issue as well as the role donor agencies and governments are willing to play to mitigate the devastations caused by climate change in the continent.