Africa Calls on Rich Nations to Help Its Climate Transition

(MOMBASA, Kenya) — African officials outlined their priorities for the upcoming U.N. climate summit, including a push to make heavily polluting rich nations compensate poor countries for the environmental damage done to them.

It will be focusing on the adaptation of countries to global warming, and ways that they can stop future climate-related catastrophes. Africa has experienced devastating droughts and cyclones, both in the Horn of Africa and in the East.

Other key areas for discussion include moving from high-carbon energy sources like oil and gas to renewables, and “carbon credit” schemes, where foreign governments and companies pay for tree planting in exchange for producing greenhouse gases.

In November, Egypt will host the U.N. climate conference (COP27).

Harsen Nyambe (director of sustainable environment, African Union Commission) said, “The biggest factor that determines how well Africa is prepared for the future”: How much Africa receives in funding.

“We recall the $100 billion that was promised has never been fulfilled and current assessments show that even that amount is not enough,” Nyambe said, referring to a 12-year-old pledge by rich nations to provide climate funding for poorer nations.

“Africa must be given adequate time to transition and transform its energy infrastructure. It is impossible to transform quickly. We need resources, capacity, technology transfer and finance to power our development,” he added.

A commitment made in the previous international summit in Glasgow to spend half of climate funds on helping developing nations adapt to the effects of a warming world by having infrastructure and agriculture that’s resilient to more volatile weather systems, must be followed through, said Jean-Paul Adam, director of climate change for the U.N.’s Economic Commission for Africa.

He said that the continent has only received 7.5% from its climate funding promises of $70 billion between 2014 and 2018.

Africa will need $3 trillion to reach its self-determined emission targets. This is known as the nationally determined contribution, which each country must submit in accordance with the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

More meetings between the continent’s climate leaders are set to follow ahead of COP27.


Associated Press’s climate coverage and environmental reporting receive support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. All content is the sole responsibility of The AP.

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