Hosted by the UNEP Regional office for Africa and chaired by Minister Plenipotentiary Mohamed Nasr of Egypt, the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) convened a Lead Coordinators strategy meeting that was held in Nairobi, Kenya between 9 and 11 April 2019.
The meeting comes following the conclusion of COP24 with the adoption of the “Katowice Climate Package” -a set of guidelines operationalizing the Paris Agreement for its implementation beginning 2020.
During the three-day meeting, the Lead coordinators engaged in an in-depth analysis of the COP24 decisions and their interpretation for Africa, including further elaboration on article 6 of the Paris Agreement where progress has stalled during the COP in December 2018. The AGN Chair and Lead Coordinators identified the key issues and remaining work for 2019, including the preparatory work for the 50thnegotiating session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB and SBSTA 50).
The meeting also considered the Ministerial declaration, resolutions and decisions of UNEA 4, which concluded mid-March 2019, and their linkages with the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The AGN Lead coordinators laid the groundwork for the meaningful and effective participation of African countries at two upcoming key climate events in 2019; The UN Secretary General’s climate summit in November 2019 which aims to boost ambition and accelerate action to implement the Paris Agreement, and; the High Level Political Forum which is set to review 6 sustainable developments goals including goal 13 on climate change.
A highlight of the AGN meeting was the joining of a number of promising African youth, who are actively engaged in the domain of climate action and negotiations in Africa, to the AGN. They now serve as junior negotiators paired with Lead Negotiators and under the guidance of the AGN chair to build their capacities for becoming future lead negotiators while supporting advance the interest of Africa in the Climate Change Process.
The Lead coordinators meeting comes after a month following the deadly tropical cyclone “Idai” that hit Africa in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi causing severe and irreversible losses and damages, taking the lives of over a thousand Africans and leaving behind thousands more missing. Idai cyclone serves as a tough wake-up call and a reminder of the devastation of accelerated extreme weather events. The AGN extends its sincerest and heartfelt condolences to its member states and calls upon all actors in the climate regime to strengthen and accelerate action on climate change ensuring that the vulnerable communities on the frontlines can adapt to the impacts.