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Brussels, 2 April 2014
EU-Africa Ministerial Statement on Climate Change
On the occasion of the EU-Africa Summit, EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, the President of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) Binilith Mahenge, and the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Rhoda Tumusiime hosted a ministerial climate seminar in Brussels on 1 April 2014.
We, Ministers, recall that climate change is a decisive global challenge, which, if not urgently addressed, will put at risk not only the environment and the ecosystems on which we all depend but also world economic prosperity, development, food security and, more broadly, stability and security. We underline the imperative need of limiting global warming and are concerned about the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C or 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, while reiterating that all Parties should take urgent actions to meet this long-term goal consistent with science and on the basis of equity, and bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries and that climate resilient and low emission development strategies are indispensable to sustainable development, while acknowledging that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet, and thus requires to be urgently addressed by all Parties, and that developing countries in particular African countries are among the most vulnerable. We recall the guidance of Nelson Mandela, who urged us to 'stand together to make our world a sustainable source for our future as humanity on this planet'.
We welcome the outcomes of the Elysee Summit for Peace and Security in Africa held in Paris on 6-7 December 2013, setting out a positive climate agenda, focusing on solutions and country ownership, especially through support to help make agriculture resilient to climate change, energy efficiency and renewable energy including via the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, climate adaptation, financial access for developing countries, the Green Climate Fund, the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies, as appropriate, major additional financing requirements to address climate change, and innovative sources of climate financing.
We thank the UN Secretary General for his invitation to a Climate Summit, to be organized on 23 September 2014 in New York. We support the UN Secretary General's call to mobilise political will to innovate, scale-up, cooperate and deliver concrete actions that will not only help close the emissions gap and put us on track for an ambitious legally binding Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but also mobilise complimentary and cooperative initiatives that can facilitate, deepen and accelerate action, including action by non-state actors.
The EU and Africa are determined to adopt in Paris in 2015 a fair, balanced, equitable and ambitious legally binding agreement under the UNFCCC applicable to all and guided by its principles, which will come into effect by 2020 at the latest. The EU and Africa acknowledge the need to implement existing commitments made under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol on mitigation, adaptation, provision of finance, technology and capacity building support to developing countries. We recall the urgent need for all Parties to prepare intended nationally determined contributions well in advance of the COP 21 in Paris to be communicated by the first quarter of 2015 by those Parties in a position to do so, and we confirm the commitment of the EU and Africa in this regard. We urge and request all developed country Parties, as well as the operating entities of the financial mechanism and any other organizations in a position to do so to provide support as early as possible in 2014. The EU is determined to support Africa in this regard. Recognising the specific challenges for Africa, both sides highlight the need for the Paris Agreement of 2015 to address in a comprehensive and balanced manner mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, capacity building, which will require adequate financial resources for Africa in accordance with the Convention.
We recognise the urgent need to adapt to the impacts of climate change for the African continent. One example for instance, the Africa Adaptation Gap Report (2013) estimates that Africa will have to face very significant adaptation costs: it cites up to $7-15 billion per year by 2020. The adaptation challenge could be more difficult if the emissions gap is not closed and mitigation beyond 2020 falls short of the objective to limit warming to well below 2°C. We welcome the ongoing work on the elaboration of a comprehensive Africa-wide Adaptation Programme to build the resilience of the continent around common climate risks shared by the majority of countries. Both sides declare their determination to strengthen the adaptation funding and mainstreaming as well as cooperate to increase funding from all sources.
The EU and Africa reaffirm that in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, scaled-up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding shall be provided to developing country Parties, taking into account the urgent and immediate needs of developing countries, in particular African countries, that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. We welcome the commitment of the EU and its Member States to scale up the mobilisation of climate finance in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency of implementation, in order to contribute their share of developed countries' goal to jointly mobilise US$100 billion per year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance. We stress the need to fully operationalise the Green Climate Fund as soon as possible, and call for the work of the Board to be expedited allowing for an ambitious initial capitalisation and effective operationalization not later than COP20 in December 2014. We also welcome that 20% of the EU's development budget for the years 2014-2020 shall be spent in a climate-relevant way while ensuring country ownership. We look forward to building on existing cooperation such as the implementation of the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology, support the Africa’s engagement in the global negotiations, Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel, Clim-Dev, disaster-risk reduction, Sustainable Energy for All, the FAO-EU Partnership on Climate Smart Agriculture, the African Climate Policy Centre, and other initiatives.
The forth-coming UN Climate Change Conference in Lima will be an important step towards the 2015 Paris Agreement. Africa and the EU will closely work together before and at this Conference on issues mentioned above as well as other relevant topics.
We confirm that action on climate change is a central area of the Africa-EU Partnership and that we will do all that is in our power to convince other partners of the need for a fair, balanced, equitable and ambitious legally binding agreement to be adopted by the end of 2015, and of the need to raise global pre-2020 ambition