Aim: Despite the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce climate change vulnerability and inequality particularly in the Global South, it is probable that the SDGs and NDCs might not achieve their objectives. The aim of this article is to identify how countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) can address their climate change governance and cross-sector coordination challenges in order to reduce climate change vulnerability and augment SDG 7 (universal energy access) implementation.   Design / Research methods: A qualitative content analysis was undertaken using research articles, project reports, a case study and policy briefs exploring the nexus of climate change governance, SDG 7 implementation and SDG 13 implementation in the context of SSA and Malawi.   Conclusions / findings: The study suggests that climate change governance and attaining SDG 7 in the Global South might be improved by harmonising NDC activities so that NDC activities can be aggregated and monitored from a regional perspective similar to the case of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Programmes of Activities (PoAs).   Originality / value of the article: The paper is of value to global policy makers as it shows that increasing climate change ambitions and ratcheting-up in the context of SSA should include increasing the deployment of renewable energy technologies as well as initiating new international institutional arrangements for climate change governance through South-South Climate Change Cooperation modalities.