chevron_left Back to Projects

Accelerating climate action in African cities

We support Sub-Saharan African cities to take concrete action in tackling climate change and providing sustainable energy through the CoM SSA Initiative.

top right mosaic bottom left mosaic
Accelerating climate action in African cities

Years active:

2015 - present

Visit the website

Visit the CoM SSA website arrow_outward

Follow on social media

Related ICLEI Pathway(s)


200+ signatories

Funded by

This project is funded by the European Union.

Project summary

Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to the impacts of climate change. We needs to take urgent and ambitious action to adapt to the impacts of climate change, while contributing to the global goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 o C. The threat of drought, flooding, extreme poverty and violent conflict is already apparent and will significantly worsen should this goal not be reached – with 47% of Africa’s GDP at risk from climate change by 2023.

As the continent’s urban population grows to 1.26 billion by 2050, subnational governments need to provide citizens with a sustainable future based on principles of low-emission development. Priority must be given to efforts that increase resilience and the adaptive capacity of cities, drive low emissions development, and ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all.

CoM SSA empowers its growing network of 200+ cities and subnational governments from over 35 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa to take concrete action in overcoming the effects of climate change and securing sustainable energy for all. Embedded in the regional chapter of the Global Covenant of Mayor’s alliance of more than 9,000 cities, African signatories develop, implement and monitor Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plans (SEACAPs). Cities receive expert technical support as they plan and execute climate change and energy initiatives. As the initiative matures into the implementation phase, cities receive support to unlock climate finance to implement climate projects on local level.

Project aims

Project activities

CoM SSA is currently in its implementation phase, assisting cities to unlock climate finance through three pillars:

  1. SEACAP Development: Offering tailored capacity building and support to cities in developing their SEACAPs, in line with national policies, plans and reporting requirements.
  2. Infrastructure project support: Providing support for the implementation of planned energy projects, and climate mitigation and adaptation projects. This entails guidance on the technical, financial and economic feasibility of the projects, as well as background studies for the preparation of projects and facilitating links to financiers.
  3. City-to-city/regional partnerships: Relying on GCoM’s international network of more than 9,000 cities and CoM SSA’s network of 200178+ cities to facilitate partnerships between cities and regions. This is realised through learning exchanges, programmes and capacity building events at the regional and/or international level.

CoM SSA’s current objectives:

  • 15 cities with developed or improved SEACAPs
  • 16 projects in financing pipeline with private sector, banks and financial institutions
  • 160 EUR million mobilized for climate and energy projects
  • 220,000 tons CO 2 emission reduction potential for 15 years following implementation

The City of Yaoundé IV is delighted to continue on our fruitful journey with the CoM SSA initiative. The support from the initiative is crucial to ensure our integrated waste management project is bankable to achieve climate finance for implementation. We are looking forward to working together with the project partners to make this project real and of benefit to the whole population of Yaoundé IV and beyond.
- Madame Amougou Noma Régine, Mayor of Yaoundé IV

Project highlights

Highlight 1

In July, we spent a week unpacking climate change challenges and finding action points in Ouagadougou and Bobo- Dioulasso in Burkina Faso.

Highlight 2

In September, we hosted a lusophone interaction in Cape Town, bringing together city officials from Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.

Highlight 3

In October, we took part in a Knowledge Exchange event at the annual Climate Chance Summit in Accra, Ghana, to share insights and experiences between signatory cities.

Highlight 4

We published two exciting publications focusing on unlocking climate finance and sharing case studies of cities that have succeeded in doing so.

Project news updates

team manager

Main project contact


Dr Kate Strachan

Senior Manager: Climate Change Resilience, Coastal Management & DRR
Accelerating climate action in African cities