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African Priorities for COP26

Despite its low contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change. Already, the region is experiencing disproportionate impacts, from increasing temperatures and sea levels, to changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather, all threatening human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development.

Increasing climate ambition and activity is emerging across African countries, but there remains a central role for collaborative research initiatives in driving innovation of climate-resilient solutions.

In the run up to the COP26 later this year, University of Leeds and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) are convening this event to discuss priorities for Africa in the face of the climate crisis and examine the role of research in delivering the necessary solutions to pressing climate change issues on the continent.

Join us to hear some of the leading voices in climate change research, policy and innovation discussing priorities for African countries ahead of COP26 and how the research community can support ambitious action.


This webinar is part of Connecting Voices for Climate Action, a week of events convened by the University of Leeds to build local to global ambition for COP26 and beyond.

Ambassador Seyni NafoSpokesperson for the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), Coordinator of the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI), and High Representative for Climate Change to the President of Mali will set the scene by talking about priorities for African countries ahead of COP26, ideal outcomes from COP26 and the role that can be played by the research community to support the ambitious climate action.
Professor Barbara EvansChair in Public Health Engineering in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds, will offer a key note speech to highlight examples of action research from the University that is improving livelihoods in Africa and set a vision for innovation and key opportunities building on Leeds expertise.

The key note address will be followed by a panel discussion featuring speakers from CCAFS, FCDO, FANRAPAN, and the University of Leeds offering researcher, funder and policy perspective on the topic.

The webinar will be chaired by Adriaan van Klinken, Professor of Religion and African Studies and Director, Leeds University Centre for African Studies. Panelists include: 

Dr Robert ZougmoréAfrica Program Leader, CCAFS
Dr Rosalind WestClimate Science Theme Lead, UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
Sithembile Ndema MwamakambaProgramme Manager - Climate Smart Agriculture, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
Doug ParkerMet Office Professor of Meteorology, University of Leeds
Sir Nick KayCOP26 Regional Ambassador for Africa, will offer closing remarks

About the conveners

The University of Leeds is one of the UK’s top institutions for interdisciplinary climate-related research and hosts the CCAFS Learning Platform for Climate Smart Agriculture. A long history of research in partnership with African institutions includes two large Global Challenges Research Fund programs: African SWIFT, focused on improving weather forecasting; and AFRICAP, focused on climate smart agriculture.

We hope that this webinar will inspire the thinking and future work of these and other programs. These projects and many others seek to provide solutions to pressing climate change issues on the continent, moving beyond research to innovation that impacts the lives of millions at risk from climate change.

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) seeks to address the increasing challenge of global warming and declining food security on agricultural practices, policies and measures through strategic, broad-based global partnerships.

Along with the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), CCAFS co-chair a new global campaign - ‘Transforming Agricultural Innovation for People, Nature and Climate’.

This campaign hopes to unlock billions in investments for more sustainable agriculture around the world, with new international commitments to financing agricultural innovation that delivers more nutritious diets and better livelihoods for more people.

The campaign hopes to create a groundswell of international support for this new vision for agricultural innovation as we move closer to COP26, and calls for climate champions to pledge their support to make this a reality. Pledge your support and find out more here.