Africa must play it smart in Santiago.

Author:Kabukuru, Wanjohi
Position:Environment - United Nations Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile

For Africa, the devastating effects of climate change, for which the continent is the least responsible region, are already here and threatening to get worse. Pledges of finance for mitigation and adaptation have remained only promises on paper. Now, with the next summit in Chile looming, Africa must play it smart at the negotiating table.

When the Paris Agreement was passed in 2015, it marked a watershed in global climate change talks, after 21 years of negotiations. In Katowice, Poland last year, another significant milestone in international climate talks was achieved when delegates managed to produce a comprehensive rulebook to act as the operational manual for the Paris Agreement, by making the global pact into a "functioning multilateral system".

But Katowice did not flesh out everything as the crucial use of market-based approaches and voluntary cooperation among parties in the implementation of their respective nationally determined contributions was deferred for COP25, slated for Santiago, Chile in December.

"The issue of how to better leverage private sector financing from carbon finance and market-based mechanisms will be ironed out at the next set of climate negotiations set to take place in Chile later this year,' says Aliou Dia, head of climate change, disaster risk and energy management at the UNDP's Regional Office for Africa.

Africa goes to Santiago expecting to finalise on the deferred concerns which will bolster the implementation of the Paris agreement, to fast-track its eco-friendly development interests.

"Discussion in Katowice on the climate finance matters only advances on Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement. This included information to be provided by parties in accordance with Article 9.5 regarding finance transparency, matters relating to the Adaptation Fund and setting a new collective quantified goal on finance," says Dr Sam Ogallah, a climate scientist and policy analyst. "This has implications for African [countries] as parties to the Paris Agreement."

Santiago, Chile, is the venue of the Conference of Parties (COP25) starting in late November, going on until mid-December. Some 40,000 delegates, among them heads of state and government from over 100 nations, are expected in Chile for the four-week-long negotiations.

The 250-acre Ciudad Parque Bicentenario, where the former Santiago International Airport was located, is currently being prepared to host COP25. Average daily attendance is expected to be 25,000...

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