What is Africa’s agenda at the 2024 Bonn Climate Change Conference?

This week is an important week for the climate agenda, with the Bonn Climate Conference 2024, being held in Bonn, Germany. Acting as a working conference for decisions made at the previous Conference of Parties (COP) and setting the stage as a precursor to the 29th Conference of Parties (COP29), the event brings together government officials, representatives from international organisations, civil society groups, business leaders and other stakeholders from all over the world.

They will be covering numerous topics such as accelerating action on food and agriculture, ensuring equity on climate action, treating oceans as allies in climate mitigation and strengthening climate action partnerships (Environment Dense Fund, 2024). However, one major theme that will be of focus is that of advancing climate finance goals. The aim is to go beyond increasing the amount that goes towards climate finance but the manner in which climate finance occurs and advance to be tied wholistically to climate objectives especially in the context of meeting SDG 13 (Human Rights Watch, 2024).

With participants working together to advance commitments made at COP28 where more than US$ 83 billionwas raised towards climate finance. Further commitments were made towards the Lost and Damage Fund, a fund committed to support poorer nations from the damages brought on by climate disasters, ensuring that the fund now has over US$ 700 million.

What Africa is Looking For

The focus on climate finance is going to be top of the agenda for Africa, given the existing finance needs, of which the continent only received 12%, amounting to US$ 30 billion annually. This is a far cry from the 2.4 trillion that is required by 2030. Therefore, African climate negotiators will be expected to further advance commitments made at COP 28 of increasing climate finance flows and improving the finance architecture in general, to meet Africa’s needs. One such tool is debt-for-climate swaps that, originating from Article 6.8 negotiations, is a tool that allows portion of poorer nation’s debt to be forgiven in exchange for committing to climate change related projects and targets (White & Case, 2024). This can enable African nations to diversify their investments, reduce debt and increase their commitments to sustainable development and climate change related initiatives. Green bonds are another tool of interest that have begun to be gain traction in Africa and will enable countries to raise funds towards climate related projects. This is something that will be a topic of interest for African nations as they seek to improving ways of raising and increasing climate funds.

In addition, African representatives will also look to advance the quest for the continent to have a special needs and circumstances status to be granted.  Having such a status would reaffirm the unique challenges Africa faces in meeting its developmental objectives and the special cooperation required from the international community and partners in supporting the continent in meeting these goals. Achieving this will be a closer step in achieving greater equity when it comes to climate finance.

Africa is a pivotal juncture in the quest to improve its ability to meet climate change needs and objectives. What transpires at the Bonn Climate Conference in the following days will be critical to the events leading up to COP29. It is important that Africa positions itself in an ideally in order to be able to advance its climate agenda and meet objectives such as the SDGs.

For more information and updates on the proceedings and outcomes of the Bonn Climate Conference 2024 click the following link: https://unfccc.int/sb60

Author: Kennedy Simango

Research Analyst