#Africa Cameroon underlines commitment to environment at the One Planet Summit


Cameroon was one of the first countries to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has reaffirmed his commitment by attending the One Planet Summit in Paris.

The summit comes two years after the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21), which culminated in the signing, on 12 December 2015, of the historic Paris Climate Agreement.

Describing climate change as an “emergency” Biya has called for the continued support of the international community in helping developing countries reduce greenhouse gases through financing, capacity building and technology transfer.

From an African perspective, Biya prioritises the protection of Congo Basin forests and to reverse the drying up of Lake Chad.

The summit held four panels all geared towards financial issues such as: procedures to support the energy transition of territories, moving towards a low carbon economy, the mobilisation of public funding and green private finance. 

The first panel discussed how public finance has a key role to play in supporting long-term climate policies, especially development finance institutions who have the capacity to shift financial flows towards a low-carbon economy.

The second panel pointed to the role the private sector must play in effectively combatting climate change, and argued that investors are able to mobilise on climate issues, to develop new financing instruments and to help reduce emissions.

Local and regional climate action was the focus of the third panel, which argued the need for public and private actors to work together in order for cities and territories to realise their goals.

It also identified pathways for innovative finance in order to scale-up climate actions at the level of cities, states and regions. 

The fourth panel discussed how policy framework can better enable effective climate action. 

It was agreed that governments have a fundamental role to play in ensuring the objective of the Paris Agreement, and that public policies must send strong economic and political signals so that all actors can deeply change their production and consumption habits.

“We are here to seek ways to meet the expectations and hopes of our people. Therefore, let us show determination and political courage. Yes, let us demonstrate audacity and wisdom,” said Biya at COP21.

“If we success, the Paris Conference will go down in history as the decisive moment which the world, in its quest for the survival of making, has been clamouring for.”

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