As the next U.N. climate change conference – COP28 – draws near, African nations are identifying priorities and hoping for progress on key issues impacting the continent. COP28 will take place in Dubai in November 2023.
Africa has contributed the least to global greenhouse gas emissions but bears an outsized burden from the impacts of climate change. African countries are expected to pressure richer polluting nations to fulfil their $100 billion per year climate finance pledge. This funding is crucial for enabling adaptation and resilience projects in Africa.
Many African economies are dependent on oil and gas production – a major sticking point at COP27. African petrostates will resist calls to rapidly phase out fossil fuels and seek leeway to develop gas resources as a transition fuel, although this remains contentious. Expect debate on whether new oil and gas projects should go ahead in Africa or not.
Loss and damage funding for vulnerable nations will also be a major agenda item. Africa already faces mounting climate-induced losses, and inadequate financial support. COP28 is seen as a milestone for formalizing a loss and damage funding structure.
Food security is another concern, with climate shocks exacerbating hunger across the continent. African leaders will urge developed countries to provide technology and financing to boost resilience and productivity in agriculture.
COP28 will also be a progress check on the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program and other initiatives launched at COP26 and COP27 to speed up climate action. Accountability for delivery on commitments will be sought.
With Africa already on the frontline of the climate crisis, the region’s leaders head to COP28 looking for concrete results. Progress on climate finance access, fossil fuel phase down strategies, adapting agriculture, and managing losses will determine whether the summit succeeds for the continent.