Africa needs to speak with one voice to emphasize its support for the full implementation of the United Nations Climate Change Convention and its Paris Agreement, according to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa made the remarks in his speech at the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).
“We need a strong and well-coordinated Common African Position,” he said.
“We need to adopt key messages that encapsulate Africa’s aspirations and work together in the spirit of unity and solidarity as a Continent.”
Ramaphosa noted that Africa was one of the most affected regions by climate change, saying it frequently experiences phenomena associated with global warming.
He noted that occurrences such as droughts, floods, cyclones and other extreme weather events have caused enormous damage to infrastructure and displaced thousands of people on the continent.
“Progress in addressing the global challenge of climate change can only be made when we all honour our mutual commitments and respect our common, but differentiated responsibilities,” said the South African president.
He called for increased ambition for action to be matched with enhanced ambition for support.
Ramaphosa acknowledged the damage that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent, but noted that recovery efforts provided ideal means to put the continent on environmentally viable progression.
“While this pandemic is having a profound impact on sustainable development and our efforts to combat environmental degradation, it also presents opportunities to set our recovery on a path of transformative sustainable development,” he said.
“In this regard, many governments and regions are prioritizing a green recovery as part of their stimulus packages to address the crisis.”
Ramaphosa noted that Africa will need climate change, environment and sustainable development initiatives to be implemented at a much larger scale to contribute to the continent’s green recovery and also to fully realize the Africa We Want as espoused in Agenda 2063.