The heads of state of two dozen different African nations have issued a joint call to the world’s wealthiest nations, pleading with them to keep their aid commitments in order for Africa to be able to combat the effects of climate change, which it is largely not responsible for. On Friday, at the end of a three-day event that took place in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, African ministers issued their request in a communique. This took place two months before Egypt will host the important COP27 climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh in November.
In their final statement, the 24 world leaders issued a call to action, urging “rich countries to fulfill their pledges in relation to climate and development funding and deliver on their obligations to double adaptation finance, particularly to Africa.” According to remarks made by Ban Ki-moon this week, the African continent is responsible for only about three percent of the world’s total CO2 emissions. But despite this, African countries are among those that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly the worsening of droughts and floods.
The leaders of Africa have stated that their continent requires financial assistance because of “the disproportionate impact of climate change and environment loss on the African continent.” According to what they found, Africa not only has a “low carbon footprint,” but it also plays an important part in the process of trapping greenhouse gases. This is especially true in the Congo Basin, which is home to the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest after the Amazon.
The communique called for developed nations to live up to and increase their climate commitments, and it stated that developing nations should be able to do so while still getting increased funding to help them adapt to the effects of climate change. The statement emphasized “the need to avoid policies that encourage sudden disinvestments from fossil fuels, as this will undermine Africa’s growth” throughout its entirety. At COP27, one of the most contentious topics that is sure to come up is the part that natural gas will play in the shift toward more environmentally friendly forms of energy. Climate activists say that it should be phased out quickly and replaced with clean energy sources.
Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance for Nigeria, stated at the Cairo summit that her country’s access to gas was critical to its ability to continue existing. “We are denying the people in our countries the possibilities to achieve fundamental development if we are unable to get funding at prices that are reasonable for the development of gas,” she said.
The statement also requested that a review of multilateral development banks and international financial institutions be conducted with a focus on climate change as the primary area of investigation. It called for the creation of a sustainable sovereign debt hub that would help with debt-for-nature swaps and lower the cost of capital for developing states.
At COP27, one of the most important topics to be discussed will be the provision of financial assistance to less developed nations in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their level of resilience. The long-term goal that wealthy countries will pay $100 billion per year starting in 2020 to help less developed countries adapt to the effects of climate change is not on track to be met.
According to the African Development Bank, the continent would require as much as $1.6 trillion between the years 2020 and 2030 for its own efforts to prevent climate change and to adapt to the detrimental effects that are already visible. These efforts will take place between the years 2020 and 2030.
According to Kevin Chika Urama, the top economist of the African Development Bank, Africa was looking at a climate financing deficit of almost $108 billion each year. “The way climate funding is set up now is unfair to countries that are more likely to be hurt by climate change. “The more likely you are to be hurt by the effects of climate change, the less money you will get,” he said.