Glasgow, Scotland | “We can’t wait any longer.” Africa, a tiny emitter of greenhouse gases on a global scale but the continent most vulnerable to climate change, called on Tuesday for billions of dollars in funding to adapt to it, marking the COP26 conference.
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“In the south of my country, which is facing famine caused by climate change, more than 1.3 million people are in food distress, and the lack of rain for several years has made it impossible to provide any kind of subsistence food,” Madagascar President Andre Rajoelina launched during the “Summit to Accelerate adaptation in Africa”.
“My country’s citizens are bearing the burden of the climate crisis in which they did not participate,” he stressed, referring to what the United Nations describes as the world’s first famine caused directly by the climate crisis.
And this is the complaint of African countries, like many other developing countries.
The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, summed up the current President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: the African Union and on the initiative of the meeting.
It provides African Union support to $25 billion from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Center for Adaptation (GCA, based in the Netherlands) for the ‘Acceleration’ Program for Africa’s adaptation, launched in 2015, during COP21 that led to the Paris Agreement.
African plan for Africa
Via the Asian Development Bank, the continent has mobilized half of this amount and invites developed countries to finance the same amount.
“25 billion dollars over five years is certainly not enough to fill the adaptation financing gap,” the Congolese president said, noting that the continent receives only about six billion in climate aid.
However, the head of the GCA, Patrick Verkougen, accounts for $33 billion annually in the continent’s needs. “Development partners always hide behind the pretext of not having a plan. Well now there is a plan,” he told AFP.
The Congolese president insists that “a plan for Africa, led by Africa,” as the record of false promises of funding from rich nations to poorer nations vulnerable to increasing droughts, fires and floods caused by global warming, is one of the hottest parts of Glasgow COP.
It is still necessary to rebalance these funds from mitigation (controlling emissions) to adaptation. At least 50/50, says Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, welcoming that his institution already has 63% for adaptation projects.
The world has to pay
UK COP President Alok Sharma backed the initiative, acknowledging that “the needs are great and the injustice is stark”. and the announcement of nearly $200 million in new funding from London, which is supposed to “unlock nearly $1.2 billion.” “And there will be more,” he promised.
People and leaders in the area have seen what is being brewed and want to make sure it stops. Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, acknowledged praising the Biden administration’s commitment to accommodation.
To promote the implementation of the commitments, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, for her part praised the economic rationality of such investments: “Adaptation is also development.”
For her, “the world must also pay” for services rendered, for example “when we protect forests” that capture carbon dioxide.
A path implemented for example in a pilot forest program in Gabon. Or with debt arrangements for ocean protection measures in Seychelles.
In any case “we can’t wait any longer,” President Tshisekedi called, calling for the “acceleration” project to be fully funded by the end of the next COP to be held on the African continent in Egypt.
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