Workers roll out the red carpet ahead of the Africa Climate Summit 2023 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on 2 September 2023.
- The first Africa Climate Summit starts in Nairobi on Monday.
- Representatives from around the continent will be preparing for the COP28 meeting in December.
- Africa requires trillions of dollars for mitigation and adaptation to the changing climate.
- Participants want to figure out how to hold the rich countries wrecking the climate to their promises.
African heads of state, senior government officials, civil society organisers, and international creditors will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, for the inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) on Monday.
They will seek to shape a way forward ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties (COP28) on 12 December this year.
The week-long summit in Nairobi runs under the theme “Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World”.
According to the African Union (AU), the summit provides a platform to address the intersection of climate change, the continent’s development, and the need for increased global investment in climate action.
Ahead of the summit, News24 spoke to Titus Gwemende, the Division Director for Climate Change at Open Society Foundations.
He outlined the importance of the summit and the role that stakeholders play in climate change initiatives across Africa.
He also presented scenarios and suggestions for what African leaders should do when presenting their case at COP28 at Expo City, Dubai.
A time for reparations
According to World Bank data, Africa accounts for roughly 3.9% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
In the last two decades, the continent’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions fluctuated between 3.4% and 3.9%, the smallest share among all the world’s regions.
However, Africa is hard hit by climate change.
“Three of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world are in Africa. While we contribute the least to climate change, we are the most affected. We have seen the floods and the cyclones in countries such as Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe,” said Gwemende.
Only 3% of global climate change finance goes to Africa.
UN figures show that between 2016 and 2019, Africa received 3% of this funding out of a finance pool of some R345 billion.
“Africa requires US$2.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 to implement its nationality contribution.
“For us [Africans], this summit is a huge opportunity to really reflect on how Africa can mobilise resources to respond to its deep challenges. What are the regulatory frameworks, and what are the partnerships and innovations needed?
“It’s basically a summit to organise our voice and raise the pressure for accountability for promises made to us,” he said.
By 2030, developing nations will demand that at least R1.8 trillion be channelled to them annually to cover losses and damages brought on by climate change.
They argue that R1.8 trillion is the base because, according to a UN report, by 2030, damages will reach $150 billion to $300 billion.
As such, Africa’s leadership should speak with one voice on the urgency of climate finance.
Climate change brings economic disaster
African nations might suffer a 64% decline in their GDP growth rate by the end of the century.
“[Already] we now have climate migrants in Africa, and it’s increasing the debt position of Africa. We have countries already in debt, but because of their climate vulnerability, the ability to access money on the capital markets is even harder,” he said, adding that there was a need to further assess the cost of further delay in increasing liquidity in Africa.
Gwemende argued that ordinarily, that shouldn’t even be the case considering that Africa is rich in mineral wealth and needs to promote green energy.
“Africa is rich in resources that are at the centre of the energy transition. Africa has over 40% of the critical minerals that are required as raw materials for the energy transition.
“If we are talking about solar panels, wind, and batteries, the raw materials for those are abundant in Africa. So when African thinkers meet this week, they should wonder how to position Africa, given the wealth of natural resources, so that we get as much value as possible,” he said.
Gwemende is of the view that the continent should push for a reform of the global financial system so that it’s better suited to respond to Africa’s needs.
“During Covid-19 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released R11.7 trillion (US$650 billion) in special drawing rights to respond to the pandemic. Of that money, Africa only received R540 billion (US$30 billion).
“So when you operate in a system where the most affected get the least support, that’s wrong,” he said.
Running concurrently with the summit are plenary sessions involving climate change activists and lobbyists.
These are important aspects of the climate change drive for the good of Africa.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/africa-gathers-to-demand-accountability-on-climate-promises-and-the-cash-to-survive-climate-change-20230903
Publish date : 2023-09-03 12:51:48