Uniting Business AFRICA at COP27
Hosted In-Person and Virtually
Organized by the United Nations Global Compact in collaboration with our Global Compact Local Networks in Africa, Uniting Business AFRICA is a three-hour forum that will bring together local and global leaders from business, civil society, Government, Global Compact Local Networks and the United Nations. The event aims to inform and inspire the private sector to accelerate and support climate change initiatives across the African continent.
Africa is warming faster than the rest of the world on average and while Africa has contributed negligibly to climate change, the continent is the most vulnerable to its effects. Increasing temperatures and sea levels and changing weather patterns are threatening human health, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa. Now is the time for business leaders of companies of all sizes, in all sectors and in every geographic location to engage more closely to share knowledge and explore climate change adaptation and mitigation actions and strategies.
Uniting Business AFRICA will address the challenges, successes, and next steps towards implementing green supply chain policies and practice, the importance of food security and adaptation for the region, and renewable energy access and climate resilience.
The State of the Climate in Africa 2021 reveals that rainfall patterns are disrupted; glaciers are disappearing, and key lakes are shrinking. Rising water demand, combined with limited and unpredictable supplies, threatens to aggravate conflict and displacement, all of which are not trade inhibitors upon which supply chains are dependent. Thus, Green Supply Chain - the idea of integrating sustainable environmental processes into traditional supply chains is being explored. The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and other regional sustainable development initiatives within the regional economic blocs present immense opportunities for green supply chains. Trade analysts anticipate that the AfCFTA, aimed at simplifying and reducing duties, human interference, and clearing procedures at ports, would greatly improve supply chain efficiencies. This session will evaluate the challenges of adapting and constraints to the implementation of the Green Supply Chain in Africa as well as showcase growing trends and benefits of a Green Supply Chain.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report 2022 (Sixth Assessment Report: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) indicates that Africa contributed the least to the greenhouse gas emissions yet is experiencing the most widespread ecological and economic losses due to anthropogenic climate change. The report indicates that due to climate change, agricultural productivity growth has been reduced by 34% since 1961 in Africa making it the worst hit region by climate change. Should global temperatures continue to rise, it is envisaged that climate change impacts such as reduced food production will be exacerbated in Africa. As the United Nations Global Compact, we believe that the African and all global private sector’s climate action and leadership are critical to the transition to a net-zero, resilient future by 2050. This discussion will highlight the impact of climate change on food security and inspire and accelerate collective urgent climate action and adaptation needs in Africa. We will also address some pressing questions and challenges such as: What will be Africa’s cost of inaction to scaling up adaptation efforts?; How can we practically accelerate adaptation and resilience for Africa’s food systems?; What kind of investments are needed for Africa to scale up climate adaptation?
As the world grapples with the climate change’s increasing impacts underscored by the IPCC’s 2022 report that highlighted the need for rapid and accelerated action on climate adaptation and resilience to avoid significant impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities – urgent action is most needed in Africa where climate change’s impacts will be acutely felt.
At the forefront of these impacts will be those on water and health systems where extreme weather patterns will lead to increasing incidences of droughts and floods creating greater water insecurity for populations, while also directly impacting food systems and human health. It is estimated that by 2030 over 3 billion people will be at risk of water insecurity, and another 1.6 million will be at risk of flooding. Of these 220 million children and their families in Africa are water insecure, leading them to likely miss school due to the need to fetch water, suffer malnutrition and stunting due to droughts that impact agricultural food systems, or get sick due to water contamination.
These challenges also pose opportunities for the continent to implement resilient sustainable development adopting innovations, practices, and policies to both adapt and thrive in the face of climate change. At the core of these innovations will be the role that businesses can play whether through direct investments and/or innovative practices that lead to a more resilient water world.
The development of the renewable energy sector is particularly relevant for the African continent as a factor of competitiveness. The continent benefits from climatic conditions that are very favorable to the development of renewable energies, notably high levels of sunshine, wind power potential, potential for the use of marine energies and biomass, as well as waste recovery, all of which are assets for aiming for neutrality. During this panel discussion, we will address the goals, challenges and opportunities for businesses (and potentially other organizations) in accessing renewable energy and climate change resilience.
Enjoy refreshments and tasty bites as you meet and mingle with your peers, make lasting connections and reflect on the days content.