A G20 Summit that could give Africa a seat at the table has stirred interest at African climate discussions.
- A G20 Summit that could give Africa a seat at the table has stirred interest at African climate discussions.
- G20 members are divided on commitments to increase renewable energy standards, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and phase out the use of fossil fuels.
- African countries want to continue using fossil fuels while also promoting green energy use.
Experts have called on G20 leaders to set more ambitious goals and show they are willing to work together to safeguard people from unchecked climate change after a summer of climate disasters, particularly in Africa.
The possibility Africa could get a seat at the G20 table stirred keen interest at the African Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, for what that could mean on climate talks.
“AU membership at the G20 strengthens Africa’s negotiating position and agency in global discussions.
“We should be in the room, represented when crucial decisions are being made,” said Titus Gwemende, a climate change director at the Open Society.
“If you are not there when rich nations are discussing Covid-19, debt relief, and Ukraine, who speaks for you? So, it’s about agency, representation, and having a voice.
“Africa constitutes a huge percentage of humanity; surely we deserve a voice over issues that affect us,” he added.
A senior associate at EG3, Alden Meyer, said differences among the G20 members could stand in the way of accelerating clean and efficient energy rollout, which would have a big impact on Africa.
“To close the yawning ambition gaps on cutting emissions, scaling up climate finance, and protecting people from the ravaging impacts of climate change, G20 leaders need to rise above their differences and provide real leadership.
“Heading into this week’s final round of negotiations among G20 Sherpas in Delhi, there were disagreements on several key climate and energy issues.
“It is up to [Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi] to engage other leaders at this weekend’s summit to broker agreements on issues the Sherpas fail to resolve, to send a signal the transformational change we need to see is indeed possible,” he added.
The group is divided on commitments to increase renewable energy standards, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and phase out the use of fossil fuels.
They failed to reach an agreement at the end of July during the ministerial meetings on environment and energy.
A plan by Western nations to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2035 was rejected by Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and India.
Another EG3 analyst, Madhura Joshi, said the phasing out of fossil fuels would be a major point of disagreement at the G20.
Phasing fossil fuels out is going to be a crucial, messy, and unavoidable fight. But it’s one that leaders need to have. And have it now. This needs to go hand in hand with scaling up finance and increasing renewable energy capacity.
“For the first time ever, a global renewable energy target – tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 – is being discussed by world leaders in G20.
“This is encouraging. But in the midst of raging climate impacts, the world needs G20 leaders to move beyond their differences and agree to an ambitious and equitable agenda of action this decade,” he added.
At Climate Week, African leaders, in their joint declaration, called for “a fair and accelerated process of phasing down coal and abolishment of all fossil fuel subsidies”.
Africa has huge deposits of fossil fuels, and to industrialise, the leaders are asking for a hybrid energy system where they can also use their deposits, particularly gas.
“We are going to use all the renewable energy sources we have, but they are variable resources. Africa needs stable grids to industrialise.
“Gas is a very critical part of the energy mix,” said African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina.
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/g20-talks-on-climate-could-be-crucial-for-africa-experts-hope-the-continent-will-be-heard-20230909
Publish date : 2023-09-09 08:52:27