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Recent dialogue explores strengthening China-Africa-UN collaboration on climate change

Beijing, 6 June, 2024

Beijing, 6 June – On Monday, 27 May 2024, the United Nations (UN) in China and the Embassy of Kenya in China co-hosted a dialogue to raise the need for renewed partnership between countries in Africa, as well as China and others in order to accelerate climate action, deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inform deliberations for the upcoming Summit of the Future. 

Caption: Attendees at the dialogue on strengthening China-Africa-UN collaboration on climate change.

The dialogue, hosted at the UN Compound in China located in Beijing, saw the in-person and online participation of representatives from the Government of China, Member States, UN Country Teams in China and African countries, research institutions, financial institutions, foundations, and the private sector. 

In following last year’s Africa Climate Summit hosted in Nairobi, the dialogue was initiated by the Embassy of Kenya in China with a view to discussing the summit’s resulting Nairobi Declaration, which called on the international community to support Africa and “to act with urgency in reducing emissions, fulfilling its obligations, honouring past promises, and supporting the continent in addressing climate change”, and the need for concrete action in these areas.

In highlighting perspectives from Africa and China on the current state of collaboration on climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the dialogue joins other events being held by the UN in China ahead of the Summit of the Future this September, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance cooperation, reaffirm existing commitments including to the UN Charter and the SDGs, and move towards a reinvigorated multilateral system.

During his remarks, UN Resident Coordinator in China, Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, said, “As we focus on detail and delivery in today’s dialogue, I hope that the views and insights shared will help in making climate action a reality for the benefit of Africa and the world. You can always count on the UN in China to play its role as a convener, connecter and catalyzer for Member States and other development partners as we work together to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Caption: Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China.

During his remarks, Ambassador of Kenya to China, His Excellency Mr. Willy K. Bett, said, “The Nairobi Declaration asks all stakeholders to recognize the immense potential of Africa in climate action. Africa possesses all the necessary resources to realize this future. Our young and growing workforce is educated, skilled and motivated to pursue industry, innovation, and enterprise. In addition, we have ample renewable energy potential.”

Caption: His Excellency Mr. Willy K. Bett, Ambassador of Kenya to China.

As raised during the dialogue, climate change is one of the key priority areas set for enhanced cooperation under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, with China now supporting a large number of projects focused on the development of renewable energy sources across the continent.

During his remarks, Chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency, Mr. Luo Zhaohui, said, “It is our responsibility to actively participate in and promote global climate governance. CIDCA is ready to work with all partners, to continuously increase support for Africa to combat climate change.”

Caption: Mr. Luo Zhaohui, Chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency.

In panel discussions at the dialogue, participants were able to explore concrete opportunities in Africa for project-based cooperation on adaptation and mitigation, climate finance and agribusiness, with participants also advocating for more investment and broader partnerships to support sustainable agriculture, enhance food security and minimize environmental impacts. 

Joining the panel discussions, Ambassador of Barbados to China, His Excellency Mr. Hallam Henry, said, “As a small island state, Barbados is a vocal advocate for other developing countries vulnerable to climate change and continues to stress the importance of making financing more available in order for us to adapt to climate change and ensure our survival. We see the Bridgetown Initiative as key to these efforts.”

Caption: His Excellency Mr. Hallam Henry, Ambassador of Barbados to China.

Joining the panel discussions, Ambassador of Germany to China, Her Excellency Dr. Patricia Flor, said, “As a co-facilitator for the Summit of the Future, together with our partner Namibia, we aim to build bridges. We strive to unite in finding answers to protecting global public goods. As industrialized country, Germany takes its responsibility seriously and stands ready to support the operationalization of the Nairobi Declaration together with our African partners. But looking at the large climate finance gap, it becomes clear, that we can only narrow this gap by broadening the donor base. This must include all countries that are high emitters as well as the private sector.”

Caption: Her Excellency Dr. Patricia Flor, Ambassador of Germany to China.

Joining the panel discussions, Chairman of TPC (Tsao Pao Chee) Group, Mr. Chavalit Frederick Tsao, said, “I believe the next step is to complete the theory of change for impact, integrating all the SDGs under climate change with corresponding matrix to deliver the well-being and happiness economy, where GNH leads GDP.”

Caption: Mr. Chavalit Frederick Tsao, Chairman of TPC (Tsao Pao Chee) Group.

Other speakers who addressed the dialogue either in person or via video message include China’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Liu Zhenmin, and Founder and Patron of the SMACHS Foundation, Charlene Ruto.

The dialogue builds on other strategic discussions and engagements held under the China-Africa-UN Transformative Partnerships Initiative, with inputs from the dialogue to form part of summary documents that will be shared with UN Headquarters and others ahead of the Summit of the Future.

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