According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa is experiencing a severe lack of climate finance and is losing 5% to 15% of its per capita economic growth as a result of climate change.
African countries have been disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change, which have exacerbated droughts, flooding, and cyclones across the continent. Hundreds of people are dying daily in the horn of Africa and most parts of East Africa because of a severe famine caused by climate change.
Africa accounts for 17% of the world’s population. It only accounts for 3% to 4% of global greenhouse emissions but suffers disproportionately from its harmful impacts. Developed countries are generally larger emitters than developing ones.
According to a statement made public recently by Kevin Urama, the AfDB’s acting chief economist, African countries received about $18.3 billion in climate assistance between 2016 and 2019. However, between 2020 and 2030, they must close a nearly $1.3 trillion climate finance gap.
According AfDB, the best strategy to deal with the effects of climate change is to invest in climate adaptation within the context of sustainable development. The current climate finance system is essentially biased towards nations that are less vulnerable to climate change, and little attention is given to more vulnerable people.
Rich countries pledged to provide the developing world with $100 billion in climate financing in 2009. However, this commitment has never been fully fulfilled and is set to expire in 2025. African ministers gathered in Cairo last week in preparation for the COP27 climate summit, when they raised the issue of lack of support that had left their continent receiving less than 5.5% of global climate money.
The annual pledge made by wealthy countries to assist developing countries in coping with the effects of climate change and making the switch to more environmentally friendly energy sources has so far not been kept.
The leaders also advocated for the development of a sustainable sovereign debt hub that would lower financing costs for developing nations. Private and public investors within the continent have also been encouraged to take part. A lot of investors have shown an interest. Although the public and private sectors are interested in funding and investing in climate projects in Africa, experts have stated that funding is hampered by factors such as risk aversion, the lack of mature green finance markets, and regional technical and policy limitations.
At a recent African climate summit in the Netherlands, African leaders encouraged the G20 countries to come up with new plans to assist Africa with its efforts to combat climate change at the upcoming United Nations climate conference in November, known as COP27 in Egypt.
Commentators also encouraged rich nations not to break their promises which they made last year in Glasgow. World leaders are expected to meet in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in less than two months for the UN climate summit, COP27. Since the summit is being held on continental soil, African leaders are looking forward to putting a significant emphasis on more funding and putting pressure on developed countries to honor their pledges.
Climate change mitigation and adaptation requires coordinated global cooperation with fairness in climate financing. Both rich and poor nations need to come together and solve climate change, which is now an existential crisis.