- Sweden has signed an agreement with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), committing 60 million Swedish Kronor (about $8.5 million) in support of ECA’s African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), established in the framework of the Climate Information for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa Programme).
At a short signing ceremony, ECA’s Executive Secretary and UN Under Secretary-General, Abdoulie Janneh, acknowledged Sweden as a leader on issues pertaining to coping with the impacts of climate change.
He said because climate change would negatively impact on Africa in many ways, the continent was determined to present a united voice in Copenhagen during the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP-15). “Africa is clear on what it wants and we are confident on the outcome,” said Mr Janneh, adding that the Swedish gesture towards ACPC would help the Centre fulfill its various mandates on behalf of African countries.
Also speaking at the same ceremony, the Swedish Ambassador, Jens Odlander, said the government of Sweden was interested in the “entrepreneurial aspects of climate change” and that it considers ACPC as having a crucial role to play in this regard.
He said Sweden was pleased that Africa’s three regional institutions were working together on climate change and expressed the hope that ClimDev-Africa and ACPC would help alleviate the negative effects of climate change for millions of children, women and men in Africa.
Mr Odlander noted that other donors such as the European Commission and the United Kingdom were already financing ACPC while other EU members had indicated interest in granting further support.
ClimDev-Africa is a joint initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) with clear mandates of African Heads of State and Government to develop continent-wide systems for monitoring, predicting and responding to climate events.
The programme responds to the urgent challenge that climate variability and climate change pose to Africa’s sustainable development objectives. Although the continent contributes only 3.8 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, Africa’s countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. With a majority of poor countries and communities, Africa will suffer earliest and hardest because of weaker resilience and greater reliance on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture.
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