Energy & Environment

Saturday, 23 July 2011 14:30

Future of environment hinged on local government action

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The continuing increase in greenhouse gases worldwide will have a devastating impact on Africa’s agricultural production, reducing it by 50% by 2020, a grim prospect that requires local government across Africa to take action in the preservation of the environment for the future.
Research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that between 1970 and 2004, emissions have risen 70% while carbon dioxide has risen 80%. The accelerated growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the last 5 years is expected to have the greatest effect on the world’s poorest and most sensitive continent, Africa. The IPCC believes that agricultural production on the continent could be reduced as much as 50% by 2020 resulting in devastating food shortages in Africa.

Cities and local governments are closest to the people. Scientists agree that the impacts of climate change will be felt hardest among the urban poor of Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the world’s energy is consumed by urban communities, making changes in planning and decision-making a matter of urgency in the move towards building a new low-carbon economy based on clean technologies.

The African Local Government Climate Roadmap Pre-Copenhagen Summit aims to mobilise local governments to actively engage towards a strong post-2012 global Climate Agreement.

ICLEI Africa, in partnership with South African Cities Network (SACN), United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA), UN-HABITAT, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Ministry of Water and Environmental Affairs (DWEA) and various other partners and key role players, is hosting a two and a half day Climate Change event from 29 – 31 July 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa, for African cities and local governments.

This high-level event forms part of the global Local Government Climate Roadmap process, coordinated internationally by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and supported by Metropolis, the C40 Climate Leadership Group and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change (WMCCC), in conjunction with their regional and national associations, networks and partners.

It is a parallel process to the United Nations Climate Roadmap and focuses on strengthening both National-Local Partnerships as well as the strategic importance of the inclusion of Cities and Local Governments in a post-2012 Climate Agreement.

The African Summit further aims to build consensus and capacity among African cities, to understand the global UNFCCC process in Copenhagen in December 2009 and to join efforts towards a strong and global post-2012 climate agreement - which addresses the needs and implementation requirements at the local level. This is achieved globally by developing common, participatory Local Governments across the world to commit to contributions and future roles in a post-2012 climate agreement. For Africa, it is particularly important that cities and local governments are part of this process in order to ensure that a new global climate deal reflects African needs and realities.

The thematic areas that will be addressed during the Summit include Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation at the local level; local priorities, opportunities and obstacles for climate action on the ground; the role and position of African Local Governments in the post-2012 Climate Framework negotiations and outputs; preparation of an African local government position that will feed into the global Local Government Climate Roadmap process and the preparation for a strengthened African Local Government delegation to, and active participation in, the UNFCCC COP-15 in Copenhagen and associated events

A formalised outcome from the summit participants will be fed into numerous other African and International processes and preparations ahead of the UNFCCC COP-15 in Copenhagen taking place in December 2009. These outcomes will also be formally presented to the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs National Climate Consultation session on 4 August 2009 and subsequently feed into the African National Climate Change negotiating process.

Countries that will be represented at this event include South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Rwanda and Burkina Faso. This Summit is part of a series of similar ICLEI Climate Roadmap Regional events taking place in India, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and Europe.

Summit Details
Date: 29-31 July 2009
VENUE: Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria, South Africa
Cnr Beatrix and Church Streets
Media are welcome to attend the Summit and are invited to contact ICLEI Africa through Ms. Lizanda du Preez at +27 21 487 2566 and +27 82 639 0471 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Visit www.iclei.org/climate-roadmap for more on the Climate Roadmap process

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Published in Energy and Environment

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