The year ahead

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Dear Climate Leaders and Friends of the African Climate Reality Project,

2016 has been tough. The planet has experienced the hottest year on record in history, yet countries have continued to fail undertaking the radical and forward-looking measures that would allow us to transition now to a low-carbon future. 4 months after the Paris Agreement came into effect, the world’s climate commitments are more than ever endangered by the political context in some of the top emitting countries.

But we are not losing sight of hope. Quite the opposite, we are inspired by the relentless commitment and amazing work of Climate Leaders across Africa and worldwide to build a climate-friendly world, each at their own level. In 2016 in Africa, close to 270 Acts of Leadership for the Climate were reported by Climate Leaders from all walks of life. These are not drops in the (rising) ocean. These every-day action are key to building public mobilisation and political support, eventually making the difference through ripple effects.

We know that a great many citizens are determined to see a brighter future and tackle climate change while it’s still time. And History has shown time and again that it is when the worst crisis hits that empathy, solidarity and the eagerness to change for the better are strongest. This is why we remain committed to strengthening our collective effort to tilt the balance and drive the kind of systemic change needed to ensure a liveable planet for us and generations to come.

In 2017, the African Climate Reality Project (ACRP) will have a two-pronged strategy to work towards its goal: a decarbonised development pathway for the African continent. We will seek to further empower African Climate Leaders as influencers and change makers to engage with their own communities and leaders, especially local government and municipalities. At the same time, our efforts will aim at collectively strengthening climate-friendly reforms – local, national and international – and their implementation.

Our 4 priority areas for this year will be carbon pricing, the shift to renewable energies, carbon sinks management and climate-smart agriculture. Transparency and social justice will be run-through themes in our engagement in each area.

Under these themes, we will be working on a number of specific issues that support the African countries’ international commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. These include: the implementation of carbon tax in South Africa; the implementation of the fourth round of the renewable energy independent power producers’ programme (REIPPP); fighting deforestation; and climate change policy support. We will also continue our work towards developing a common narrative for climate change on the continent, with the aim of expanding the dialogue on climate change and mobilising wider circles of support.

These are ambitious plans. But our ambitions only pale in comparison to what awaits us if we don’t make the change happen now. With your help and that of our partners, we are convinced that African countries will take significant strides in 2017 to transition to a low-carbon, equitable future.

Stay tuned and let us know how you want to be involved!

The ACRP team
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