Nairobi, March 14, 2024

As the world grapples with the urgent challenges of climate change, Nairobi will host a critical meeting to increase Africa’s participation in shaping global climate policy. The Africa Experts Strategic Meeting, scheduled for March 20th to 22nd, will bring together stakeholders from across the continent to discuss the upcoming 7th Assessment Cycle (AR7) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Africa has had little involvement in IPCC processes, including scoping meetings and authorship, accounting for only 11% of total authorship in the AR6 cycle.

In a recent interview, Patricia Nying’uro, Kenya’s IPCC National Focal Point, highlighted the meeting’s significance “These challenges vary from country to country, generally some include low awareness of the IPCC and its activities, the load of work and having to do this alongside regular duties, resource constraints among others,” she stated, highlighting the hurdles faced by African nations in fully engaging with the IPCC.

The African Group of Negotiators Expert Support (AGNES) delegation during last year’s IPCC Meeting in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY

Nying’uro emphasized the importance of aligning national climate policies with IPCC findings, stating, “Countries must align their policies and strategies with the IPCC products. The IPCC products are designed to provide policy direction for various contexts using assessments of the latest science on climate change.” She used Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP3) to illustrate how African contributions to earlier IPCC assessments had an impact. “The current National Climate Change Action Plan for Kenya (NCCAP3) relies on the most recent IPCC science to understand future climate change,” she explained, demonstrating how IPCC results feed national climate policies and initiatives.

One of the key highlights of the meeting will be showcasing the AGNES database, a crucial resource in facilitating African engagement in climate science. The database, known for its extensive pool of experts, plays a significant role in streamlining the process of involving African scientists and experts in high-impact research and IPCC assessments.

The Africa Experts Strategic Meeting in Nairobi is expected to foster greater collaboration, knowledge exchange, and actionable solutions to address the pressing challenges of climate change facing the continent. With a focus on enhancing Africa’s participation in the IPCC’s AR7 cycle, the meeting signals a concerted effort to amplify Africa’s voice in shaping global climate policy.

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About the Author: Festus Langat is a Communications and Outreach officer at AGNES.

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