African Carbon Forum 2016, supported by UNCTAD, shows African countries aligned in quest for climate-smart development

28 - 30 June 2016
Kigali Conference Village
, Rwanda

​The 2016 African Carbon Forum took place on June 28-30 in Kigali, Rwanda, and saw  600 participants discuss  a number of critical aspects of efforts to deliver on the Paris agreement and proceed with the de-carbonization of economies in Africa. Officials from multiple African countries, as well as from Europe and the Americas, attended the event organized by the UNFCCC, IETA, the World Bank, UNDP, African Development Bank, the UNEP DTU Partnership and supported by UNCTAD. Many of the issues discussed had direct interfaces with international trade, such as market mechanisms to enhance cooperation in implementing NDCs, new models for climate finance, as well as co-benefits of mitigation policies, which improve linkages with local communities by creating jobs, stimulating innovation and technology transfer.

The event - which happens in the run up to UNCTAD XIV in Nairobi - highlights once more the importance of sustainable development for African countries, as many are showing high economic dynamism, reduction in poverty levels and fast economic growth. New and old partners joined the discussions, such as the Brazilian National Development Bank and Stockholm Environment Institute, who attended and presented their experience on low-carbon infrastructure financing and results based financing for the purchase of off-grid renewable energy equipment.

ditc-ted-07072016-room2.jpgMr. Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ghana, tore down the distinction between climate finance and all other types of finance. “We’re really talking about climate-smart, good finance,” said Mr. Ayariga. “When we talk about climate finance we’re talking about finance in all sectors, whether roads, housing, agriculture, all finance.”

Mr. Niclas Svenningsen, Manager for market mechanisms at the UNFCCC, complemented by mentioning  the need for countries to end financing behavior that is not climate smart, such as in the case of fossil fuel subsidies.

Mr. Daniele Violetti, Chief of Staff of the UNFCCC, speaking at the closing plenary called for continuing efforts to better coordinate and build synergies between different multilateral agencies working on low-carbon development in Africa. UNCTAD is expected to strengthen its cooperation with the UNFCCC secretariat in the months ahead. To link the climate policy work being done in Bonn with the trade policy work conducted in Geneva UNCTAD, in cooperation with UNFCCC is organizing an expert meeting, which  is scheduled to take place in October, while a joint UNCTAD-ITC-WTO event is to take place at COP 22 in Morocco in November  2016. Both events are meant to promote a positive approach to the role of international trade in dealing with climate change.

The African Carbon Forum is part of the Nairobi Framework Partnership, which connects and coordinates activities between different multilateral organizations in promoting a low-carbon development path in Africa and elsewhere.

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UNFCCC, IETA, the World Bank, UNDP, African Development Bank, the UNEP DTU Partnership, and UNCTAD

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Mr. Henrique Pacini,