The Africa Business Leaders Coalition calls for greater private sector climate action at COP28

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The UN Global Compact Africa Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC) called for greater private sector action to tackle climate change across the African continent during a series of dialogues and initiatives held under the COP 28 Global Stocktake theme.

ABLC is a pan-African CEO-led initiative emanating from the UN Global Compact Africa Strategy 2021–2023. It includes over 55 companies representing $150bn in revenue and over one million employees.  It provides a platform for African business leaders to have a unified private sector voice as they actively and meaningfully engage on the continent’s most pressing issues through an organized, forward-looking, principles-based approach. The coalition has been instrumental in driving collective climate action through the Africa Business Leaders’ Climate Statement endorsed at COP 27. 

At COP28, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, highlighted the progress made by the Coalition in just one year during the African Private Sector Reception on 1 December, jointly hosted by ABLC and Airtel Africa plc. Other keynote speeches were delivered by Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel, and  His Excellency Mokgweetsi E. K. Masisi, the President of Botswana.

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The Reception convened top-tier executives, heads of private sector entities, heads of states, government officials, and intergovernmental organization representatives to discuss initiatives to propel climate action and sustainable development across Africa. The event aimed to foster engagement between the private and public sector on climate action to underscore the importance of collaboration in shaping an environment to accelerate climate action, including mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. 

During the event, Sanda Ojiambo highlighted the findings of a policy brief, “From Vision to Action: A Policy Blueprint for Channelling $130 Trillion Private Capital into Africa’s Sustainable Business Future“, created in partnership with the Columbia SIPA Center of Global Energy Policy’s Energy Opportunity Lab, on how, with the help of Government policies, the African business community can catalyze the building of a more dynamic commercial and industrial sector along the lines of Agenda 2063 to unlock investment for clean energy. The continent currently needs up to US$2.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 to implement its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), against current climate finance flows of US$30 billion into the continent.

On 4 December, the panel “Driving Accountable and Actionable Climate Solutions in Africa” examined the need for  public-private partnerships, climate financing, and greater  trade investment to secure the continent’s future.  The keynote speech was delivered by  Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, with further remarks by Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion of Egypt. The panel, moderated by Sanda Ojiambo, involved Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, ABLC Co-Chair and Naspers CEO, Chido Cleopatra Mpemba, AUC Youth Envoy, and Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Shalaby, President and CEO of Tatweer Misr.

On 5 December, the panel “Driving Africa’s Just Transition,” explored the African Private Sector’s role in ensuring a Just Transition for Africa with the support of the Climate Champion Team and DP World. 

Tolulope Lewis-Tamoka, UN Global Compact’s Chief of International Relations and Africa, used the opportunity to launch the ABLC Voluntary Climate Report, which highlights members’ climate initiatives, marking a step towards transparent climate action reporting and showing how the coalition’s members have notably advanced in emission disclosures, renewable energy adoption, and developing adaptation and resilience plans:

  • 40% more members measuring and disclosing Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • 90% more members increasing the share of renewables in their energy mix;
  • 150% more members developing resilience plans, with 80% of members now explicitly accounting for climate risks;
  • ABLC members are also at the forefront of embedding Just Transition plans in their businesses and value chains.

Other speakers included Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, Jane Lumumba, UN Climate Champions’ Africa Director, Jeremy Awori, CEO of Ecobank, and Mohammed Anwar Shaheen, Director of Heliopolis University Center for Rural Development and Assistant to Vice President for Community Service & Environmental Affairs.

Notes to Editors

About the UN Global Compact

As a special initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Global Compact is a call to companies worldwide to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 18,000 companies and 3,800 non-business signatories based in over 101 countries, and 62 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org and Africa Business Leaders Coalition 

About the Africa Business Leaders Coalition

The Africa Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC) is a CEO-led initiative emanating from the UN Global Compact Africa Strategy 2021–2023 committed to advancing sustainable growth, prosperity, and development in Africa by bringing measurable impact to its most pressing issues. The ABLC works closely with the UN Global Compact Hub in Abuja and 10 African Local Networks operating across Africa. Boston Consulting Group is providing strategy and implementation support to the UN Global Compact for the Africa Business Leaders Coalition.

CONTACT: United Nations Global Compact [email protected] 

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