Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 7 December 2023 - Africa and the wider developing nations community will be asking for more “adequate and predictable finance” at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai.
According to the Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN), Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, the continent’s six main priorities at the negotiations will revolve around: -
Global stock take;
Strengthening adaptation actions;
Operationalization of the Loss and Damage fund;
Just energy transition; and
Africa’s quest to be granted the special needs and circumstances status.
These priorities, which crystallized into the African Common Position on Climate Change for COP28, were fine-tuned and endorsed after a flurry of continent-wide consultative meetings over the past 10-months, including the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa and the Africa Climate Summit.
Studies by the Addis Ababa-based African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) indicate that “the increasing frequency and severity of climate change impacts resulting in disproportionate effects on African economies and societies, with countries estimated to be losing on average 2- 5% of GDP and many countries diverting up to 9% of their budgets into unplanned expenditures on responses to extreme weather events.”
James Murombedzi who heads the ACPC, says that, even as Africa demands for enhanced and predictable climate financing at the COP28, it will need to explore other innovative financing mechanisms including private sector investments, such as debt-for-nature and debt-for-climate swaps to bridge the financial gap and fast track the implementation of initiatives like the Great Green and Blue Walls, promoting climate action, sustainability and job creation.
“We acknowledge the challenges posed by climate change in the continent, but at the same time we are proactive in finding effective climate smart pathways and sustainable solutions,” says Mr. Murombedzi.
At the African Climate Summit, African leaders expressed their frustrations with the industrialized countries’ inability to honor their commitments on providing adequate climate finance.
With support from the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS), G77+China, newly-industrialized economies of the BASIC group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China), as well as the Like-Minded Ground of Developing Countries’ and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Africa alongside other global South economic blocs will be pushing for the overhaul of the global financial architecture and multi lateral development banks so as to “deliver meaningful climate and development financing” including the operationalization of the loss and damage financing facility at the COP28.
And there are innovative financing options under development.
According to the UN Economic Commission for Africa’s Deputy Executive Secretary Antonio Pedro, African countries could mobilize up to US$82 billion annually by participating in well-functioning carbon markets. Besides, more income could be generated from value chains around non-renewable resources such as critical minerals crucial for battery production.
“Our renewable and non-renewable resources must be harnessed to secure the continent’s human, energy, food, mineral, environmental and climate security, meeting basic needs and fostering sustainable structural transformation,” Mr. Pedro said.
At the just-concluded fourth Transitional Committee meeting on the scale of the Loss and Damage Fund, Amb. Adao Barbosa, the Special Envoy on climate for Timor-Leste, said at least $100 billion a year streaming from industrialized nations to all developing countries is required to address the losses and damages associated to climate.
Just like the islander’s bloc and the African Group of Negotiators, the ministerial declaration by the 46-member Least Developing Countries Group indicates that the bloc will be championing for the full operationalization of the loss and damage fund as an “operating entity to the Financial Mechanism of the Convention serving the Paris Agreement and that the Fund assists the vulnerable developing countries to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.”
Of the 46-members that make up the LDC Group, 33 member countries are in Africa.
The LDC Group also reiterated their call for an “ambitious outcome of the first global stock take at COP28 that captures the progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
On finance, the LDC Group will be asking for the industrialized nations to “scale up climate finance to make up for the shortfall caused by failure to deliver $100bn per year by 2020 and through 2025.”
The Africa Group, on the other hand, is asking the rich nations to provide between $200-400 billion a year by 2030 for loss and damage and $400 billion a year for adapting to climate change. This is, in addition to funding efforts geared towards emissions reduction.
Other than the doubling of adaptation finance the AGN’s will be seeking for the finalization of the the New Quantified Goal on Climate Finance at COP 28.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), climate change affects developing nations disproportionately strengthening the quest for enhanced climate financing.
Estimates by the UN showcase that both developing and emerging economies will need up to $2 trillion annually by 2030 to cope with climate change.
Alongside increased climate finance flows, loss and damage financing concerns for the developing countries is the Strengthening of Adaptation Action.
“As far as we are concerned, adaptation remains the priority for Africa because for us, it’s a matter of life and death. We cannot wait to bring down emissions, which is not even happening quickly enough, before helping those suffering from the adverse impacts of climate change,” said Mithika Mwenda who heads the umbrella Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) said.
With over 600 million people in Africa lacking electricity, the quest for affordable clean energy sources including increased investments, will be the hallmark of African negotiators focus when haggling over just energy transition.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), expensive capital to invest in green growth alternatives has seen less than 2% of global investments in clean energy flow into Africa. Findings by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) indicate that to drive green growth on the continent, investment needs of at least $2 trillion by 2050 will be needed in the power sector alone.
According to Hanan Morsy, the chief economist at ECA, the continent has abundant renewable energy resources and accounts for 40% of global solar irradiation.
In addition, the region is endowed with potential for 20,000MW from geothermal power, 30,000MW from hydropower and 110,000MW from wind power.
“The continent’s just energy transition cannot be identical to the rest of the world and requires pragmatic solutions. The transition must be just, inclusive and equitable,” said Ms. Morsy.
This article was first published by the United Nations, DGC-Africa Section https://www.un.org/africarenewal/