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Cablegate: Usau: Proposal for African Climate Policy Center

R 070625Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1173
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 001817


AF/FO, AF/RSA FOR WHALDERMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID SOCI AU
SUBJECT: USAU: PROPOSAL FOR AFRICAN CLIMATE POLICY CENTER

REF: ADDIS ABABA 912


1. SUMMARY: On May 20 African Union (AU) and United Nations
Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) officials briefed
donor partners on joint efforts to establish an African
Climate Policy Center (ACPC). The African Development Bank
(ADB) is also involved in the initiative to address the
challenges posed by climate change. Officials envision an
African Climate Development Program with a joint secretariat
of the AU, the ECA and the ADB. While a joint conference of
Ministers of Economy and Finance have endorsed an official
resolution to establish the Center, the modalities of
bringing the Regional Economic Communities (REC) on board
have yet to be worked out. AU and ECA officials intend to
invite RECs and AU member states to present their respective
initiatives as a step to sorting out practical and political
issues so the AU and ECA can move forward to make a formal
presentation of the Center concept at the upcoming Copenhagen
Conference in December 2008. END SUMMARY.

2. On May 20 DCM attended a meeting of AU donor partners
convened to hear presentations by AU and ECA officials
dealing with the impact and implications of climate change.
Noting that the negative results of climate change
disproportionately impact development initiatives in Africa,
the officials underscored the limited capacity of African
states to identify risks or implement measures to address
climate change. They pointed to the disparate,
uncoordinated, and likely duplicative and ineffective
measures that have been initiated. Since expertise and
resources are scarce, they argue the sensible approach to
climate change is a collective one, with the proposed ACPC
serving as a repository for data, a center for research and
analysis, and a resource body with technical capacity to
undertake risk assessments and support AU member states in
developing policies that will create coherent continent- wide
responses. One of the anticipated results will be
strengthening of African countries' capacity to participate
more effectively in international climate negotiations and to
benefit from the emerging carbon trading system.

3. The initial step is to obtain buy-in from AU member
governments and simultaneously attract donor support. A
prioritized and detailed work plan is being developed and
will be presented to donors so those interested in supporting
the initiative can earmark contribution within the ClimDev
and ACPC structure. The UNECA provided its detailed
twenty-one page April 2008 Draft Proposal for the African
Climate Policy Center. The Draft Proposal provides a clear
vision of the work of the Center as well as a six-month
timeframe for formalizing the Center. The draft proposal
contains a detailed breakout of resource requirements for
2008-2013. It suggests the initial six-year development
phases for establishing and running the ACPC will require
approximately forty-one million dollars (USD $41 million).

4. COMMENT: The partnership of the AU, the ECA, and the ADB
provides the political, the technical, and the financial
cooperation to transform statements of intention into
programs for implementation. The March joint AU-ECA
Ministerial Meetings of Economic and Finance Ministers
(REFTEL) anticipates a future of close cooperation in which
the ECA and the ADB support the AU. The ClimDev and ACPC
initiative is one of the first concrete initiatives
predicated on the framework agreed in March. It addresses
one of the cross-cutting and potentially most serious of
challenges to African economic development and food security.
END COMMENT.

YAMAMOTO

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