United Nations Secretary General António Guterres says the African continent needs a “quantum leap” in climate change and development funding – especially so because we are not, Guterres said, winning the battle against climate change impacts.
“The African continent practically does not contribute to climate change, but the African continent is one of the areas of the world where the impact of climate change is more dramatic and devastating,” he said, following the main meeting of the UN-African Union Conference in New York on Monday.
Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only about 4 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions, and will need an estimated USD$50 billion per year by 2050 under the best-case warming scenario, according to the UK-based ODI.
A joint communiqué released on Monday by the UN and African Union welcomed the “strong cooperation and collaboration between the two organizations,” the UN said. It commits to continued work on peace and security issues and achieving sustainable development, but those goals rely heavily on climate finance.
Some countries are making progress, including Morocco with a $40 million Green Climate Fund investment to prevent environmental damage from oil production, and Nigeria with its green bond financing.
Yet recent data shows more than half of African nations have problems attracting national and international finance, and less than 25 percent have a financing strategy in place. On the other hand, two-thirds are working on their nationally defined contributions (NDCs) in keeping with the Paris Agreement on climate, and 80 percent are working on mitigation and adaptation measures.
Guterres reminded the international community that African development is the foundation of a more peaceful world and the planet has a stake in its success.
Image: African Development Bank file