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We have turned Africa’s green agenda into a Bingo card for COP28

A serious question: Will the main points of the Nairobi Declaration (aka Africa’s climate plan) be addressed in Dubai over the next two weeks? Please keep the card to track progress…

Hello – the world’s Climate Olympics, the 28th conference of the parties (COP) opens today. Some 70,000 movers and shakers are in the UAE for this year’s event, including ever more Africans. Delegates from the continent are pushing for specific progress. We list nine categories on our bingo card. 

The first person to email us with a complete result gets a free lunch. Good luck! Click on the image above or here to download it. And please do share it with anyone interested.

Today’s reading time: 5 mins

LOGISTICS UPDATE | Thursday 30 November 

❗ Today: COP28 started this morning in Dubai

🎯 Launch: Nature4Climate’s Nature-based Solutions Tracker

📂 Report: Impact of global warming levels on drought in East Africa


💲 Event: SuperReturn Africa will happen in Cape Town (Dec 4-6)

📚 Profiles: Climate change country profiled issued by ReliefWeb

🔥 Job: Burn is seeking a Quality Team Leader in Dar Es Salaam

1. 🚁 Heli view: Why COP28 is a decisive moment for Africa

Earlier this year, the continent proposed itself as a valuable partner in global climate action.

  • It presented its own green agenda during the Africa Climate Summit in September. 

  • The African Union made the case for linking climate action and prosperity in Africa.

  • Heads of state committed themselves to “climate-positive growth”.

The bargain: In turn, African governments asked richer nations to invest in climate solutions on the continent.

  • They offered commercial transactions that benefit everyone, including nature.

  • Forget victimhood and past disagreements, leaders declared, embracing a “new narrative”. 

  • They described climate action as a "multi-billion-dollar" investment opportunity on the continent.

At stake: This new agenda, the first of its kind, was designed specifically with COP in mind, given it’s growing size and influence.

Crunch time: The shape of Africa’s future could now hang on the outcome of COP. Climate solutions being proposed by Africa might: 

  • Create prosperity via the green economy

  • And uplift millions of lives via climate jobs

  • Or they might not

Listen carefully: COP28 will give us a first glimpse of whether non-African nations are willing to engage and make the continent the climate partner it wants to be.

  • Will the West accept the need to link climate action and prosperity in Africa?

  • Will other developing nations endorse the idea of “climate-positive growth”?

Lots to offer: Africa is in a strong negotiating position as it does not come empty handed.

  • The continent has lots of renewable energy potential.

  • It can offer unparalleled carbon sinks to offset industrial emissions.

  • And battery-makers the world over need its mineral resources. 

Check the details: Over the next two weeks at COP, we’ll look for exactly who supports which parts of Africa’s agenda.

The roadmap: African needs and asks are formally codified in the Nairobi Declaration signed by members of the African Union. 

  • The declaration will guide actions by African governments at COP. 

  • The details are laid out in our bingo card. Do print it out and track progress. 

Reality check: Not everything will be possible. The declaration calls for an increase in Africa’s renewables capacity from 56 GW in 2022 to at least 300 GW by 2030.

  • A recent study identifies weak and inadequate grid infrastructure as a critical barrier to scaling renewables. 

Homework done: Nonetheless, Africa is likely to score some wins. On the agenda are:

  • A $100 billion climate finance pledge

  • A loss and damage fund

  • Progress on ending fossil fuel dominance

  • Operationalising carbon markets globally

In sum: COP matters to Africa – however, Africa also matters to COP. 

  • A sustainable world economy is not possible without the fastest-growing continent.

2. Will batteries remain the stepchild of Africa’s green economy?

A cynic might say that power storage is the great green hope of Africa – and always will be.

The hope: Storing electricity for use at the right moment could be a game-changer. Ubiquitous battery banks could fix perpetual problems on the continent:

  • Batteries can smooth out low, varying and failing electricity generation. 

  • They also compensate for a lack of grid connections in remote areas.

  • And unlike hydro storage, batteries offer electricity in a readily usable state.

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