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EU, Africa Leaders Stress Action on Climate Change

4th European Union EU-Africa Summit4 April 2014: Delegates at the 4th European Union (EU)-Africa Summit adopted a Declaration that outlines commitments on peace and security, prosperity and people, including action on climate change. Leaders also agreed on a EU-Africa Ministerial Statement on Climate Change at a ministerial climate seminar, which took place in advance of the Summit.

The 4th EU-Africa Summit took place in Brussels, Belgium, on 2-3 April 2014. It brought together African and EU leaders, as well as the leaders of EU and African Union (AU) institutions. Opening the Summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described climate change as “the defining issue of our time.” He emphasized the importance of raising ambition in 2014 to reach a meaningful climate agreement in 2015 and called on leaders to bring “bold announcements and actions” to his 2014 Climate Summit.

In the Declaration, leaders state their determination to adopt a “fair, equitable and legally binding agreement” under the UNFCC with a more efficient and universal scope to produce results on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building and transparency.

The Declaration describes several areas in which the EU will support Africa on climate change, including on: domestic preparations for nationally determined contributions towards the 2015 agreement; and preparing regional and national climate-resilient and low-emission development strategies, particularly in the agriculture and energy sectors and within the context of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL). The EU committed to provide more than €28 billion to Africa through bilateral cooperation at the meeting.

The Statement confirms action on climate change as “a central area of the Africa-EU Partnership.” It also: calls for raising global pre-2020 ambition; highlights the importance of climate finance; and stresses the need to operationalize the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as soon as possible.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Commission (EC) signed a new Cooperation Arrangement at the meeting. The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation on development work and will deepen activities in priority areas, including on climate resilience, energy and infrastructure and capacity building.

Over 60 EU and African leaders attended the Summit, which convened under the theme ‘Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace.' The ministerial climate seminar took place on 1 April in Brussels. [Summit Website] [Declaration] [Declaration on Migration and Mobility] [Roadmap 2014-2017] [AfDB Press Release] [EU Press Release] [Ban Statement] [IISD RS Story on Ban's Meetings in Brussels]