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After meeting in France in 2017 and the United States in 2018, the One Planet coalition will meet for the third time in Kenya on 14 March. Here’s a review of some of the features of this summit to place Africa at the centre of climate change challenges and solutions.

1 This is the third one planet summit

1. Flickr Mike Bloomberg.jpg
© Mike Bloomberg / Flickr

The One Planet coalition was created on 12 December 2017 at the summit of the same name organised in Paris at the initiative of the French Presidency, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the World Bank. Heads of State, large companies, development banks, NGOs, philanthropists, think tanks and civil society stakeholders launched dozens of initiatives at this event aimed at accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy and supporting developing and emerging countries in coping with the impacts of climate change. This included mobilizing public and private financial stakeholders, two years after the signing of the Paris Agreement at COP 21.

The coalition then met in New York on 26 September 2018 to report on progress and present new projects. The World Bank, for example, committed to invest $1 billion to ramp up the deployment of battery storage for energy systems in developing countries.

The third edition of the One Planet Summit will be held this year in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Like the first year, the event organized at the United Nations campus will last one day. It will include addresses from Heads of State, presentations of new initiatives, thematic workshops and reports on the initiatives underway.


2It focuses on Africa

2. © Erwan Rogard / AFD
© Erwan Rogard / AFD

The One Planet Summit in Nairobi will focus specifically on Africa. The event seeks to highlight the continent’s specific issues related to the fight against climate change and present new initiatives for defending the region’s environment while promoting communication between local stakeholders—States, banks, companies, and NGOs.

The objectives are to ramp up mobilization to promote the low-carbon development of African countries and improve the long-term resilience of all populations, particularly the most vulnerable groups.

Africa is the continent most affected by the consequences of climate change—droughts, floods, coastal erosion—despite being responsible for only 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Africa is a key region in terms of climate change. On the one hand, African countries must adapt to the impacts, and on the other hand, they have the opportunity to adopt a low-carbon approach to development,” explains Charlotte Cristofari, a climate expert with Agence Française de Développement (AFD).


3It addresses not only climate change but also biodiversity

3.  Pierre Terdjman / AFD
© Pierre Terdjman / AFD

In Nairobi, the One Planet coalition’s environmental objectives are being expanded to include other aspects of the ecological crisis, such as deforestation and the decline in biodiversity.

"We cannot talk about climate change without taking into account the current biodiversity crisis, because these issues often raise the same question: how can we use our natural resources in a sustainable manner?” Charlotte Cristofari explains.

In Nairobi, AFD will announce a new “Biodiversity Facility” to be created in 2019 in partnership with NGOs specialized in protecting the living environment, WWF and the IUCN. This financial instrument will support 16 countries in developing their voluntary national contributions for the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held in Beijing in 2020. The event is intended to produce a biodiversity agreement with a magnitude equivalent to that of the Paris Agreement.


4New initiatives will be announced

4. Mike Bloomberg / Flickr
© Mike Bloomberg / Flickr

Further announcements are expected to be made at the One Planet Summit in Nairobi on initiatives to develop renewable energy and protect biodiversity.

The Kenyan government will present its call for action aimed at preserving forests. This policy statement, initiated by Kenya and France, seeks to encourage African countries to commit to ending deforestation and implementing forest conservation strategies by 2020.

In addition to presenting the Biodiversity Facility, AFD will report on several commitments made at the One Planet Summit in Paris in 2017: investments to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change, Facility 2050… New partners are also expected to join initiatives launched at previous One Planet summits.


5Certain one planet objectives have already been met

5. © Paul Kabre / AFD
© Paul Kabre / AFD

Dozens of concrete initiatives were launched at the One Planet Summit in December 2017 in Paris. While most of these initiatives are still underway, some have already met or even exceeded their objectives.

This is the case for one of the key commitments AFD made in December 2017: to invest €1.5 billion to fund vulnerable countries’ adaptation to climate change beginning in 2020.

Not only was this objective met in 2018—two years in advance—it has been exceeded: last year, AFD invested €1.6 billion to support adaptation (including €750 million for the African continent), 50% up on 2017. This dynamic will continue in coming years.


6Nairobi will be hosting another key event at the same time

6. © Ninara / Flickr
© Ninara / Flickr

Alongside the One Planet Summit, the Kenyan capital will be hosting another major event on climate change and the preservation of biodiversity from 11 to 15 March: the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA).

This global forum will gather Heads of State, ministers, environmental activists, NGOs and business leaders to focus on the theme of “innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, resolutions can be expected on the integration of biological diversity, the sound management of chemicals and waste, data management, the promotion of sustainable livelihoods and the efficient use of resources.

Further reading:

One planet summit: what results 9 months on?

Mauritius: from green finance to gender equality

Olivier Langrand: “protecting nature is a daily battle”

Akissi’s life in a world at + 2 °c