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Climate Change

Africa Climate Summit begins, focus on financing the efforts to fight this menace

September 5, 2023 4:57 PM IST

climate | Africa | Africa Climate Summit | Summit | Climate summit | climate financing

African leaders arrived on Tuesday, September 5, at the inaugural Africa Climate Summit being held in Nairobi, including Salva Kiir of Sudan, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and U.S. special envoy on climate, John Kerry. The summit is focused on mobilising financing for Africa’s response to climate change.

Climate change poses significant risks to the global community, with physical effects causing substantial economic losses. Over the past decade, storms, wildfires, and floods have resulted in substantial GDP losses.

Africa, in particular, faces severe climate-related challenges, including drought, desertification, and increasing cyclones, leading to displacement, migration, and food crises. The continent is also disproportionately affected by the global temperature rise and is projected to experience escalating physical climate risks.

According to researchers, while Africa is suffering from some of the most severe impacts of climate change, the continent only receives about 12% of the financing it needs to cope.

UN Secretary General, António Guterres told delegates attending the inaugural Africa Climate Summit that developed nations have to take responsibility for their role in rising global temperatures that have caused the climate crisis.

He also called for an end to the use of fossil fuels which are largely seen as drivers of global warming, which in Africa has resulted in flooding, droughts and erratic rainfall patterns. This, Guterres said, has caused the deaths of thousands of people in Africa.

“And all countries must also operationalise the loss and damage fund proposed at COP28 this year,” Guterres added.

U.S. special envoy on climate, John Kerry on September 5 announced that the U.S. intends to provide an additional $30 million to accelerate climate-resilient food security efforts across Africa, as part of implementing US President Joe Biden’s PREPARE. This includes:

— $20M to the Africa Adaptation Initiative for the Food Security Accelerator

— $10M to the Climate Resilience and Adaptation Finance and Technology Transfer Facility to scale technologies advancing adaptation

Hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in sustainable development projects were announced on Monday, and on Tuesday Jaber announced the UAE was pledging $4.5 billion dollars to develop 15 GW of clean power in Africa by 2030.

Africa currently has about 60 GW of installed renewables capacity.

African officials say the investments are welcome but that meeting the continent’s financing needs will require a transformation of the global climate financing architecture.

Specifically, African states plan to push at the COP28 for the expansion of special drawing rights at the International Monetary Fund that could unlock $500 billion worth of climate finance, which could be leveraged up to five times.

At the Africa Climate Summit, leaders will be called upon to make ambitious pledges and commitments. A comprehensive “Pledging and Commitment Framework” will be developed to guide these actions. By embracing ambitious ideas and making bold commitments, we have the opportunity to turn the tide on climate change, not only in Africa but also globally.

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