Africa formulates goals ahead of UN climate summit

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MOMBASA, Kenya (UKTN) — African officials outlined their priorities for the upcoming UN climate summit, including an effort to make heavily polluting rich countries compensate poor countries for the environmental damage done to them.

The continent will also focus on how countries can adapt to global warming and how best the continent can stop further climate-related disasters. Africa has debilitating droughts in the east and the Horn of Africa and deadly cyclones in the south.

Other key points of discussion include the switch from high-carbon energy sources such as oil and gas to renewables, and ‘carbon credit’ schemes, where foreign governments and companies pay for planting trees in exchange for the production of greenhouse gases.

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The UN Climate Change Conference COP27 will be held in Egypt in November.

How much funding Africa gets is the biggest factor in how prepared it will be for a warmer future, said Harsen Nyambe, the director of environmental sustainability at the African Union Commission.

“We remember that the $100 billion promised was never fulfilled and current assessments show that even that amount is not enough,” Nyambe said, referring to a 12-year pledge by rich countries to provide climate finance to poorer countries.

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“Africa must be given sufficient time to transition and transform its energy infrastructure. We cannot transform abruptly. We need resources, capacity, technology transfer and financing to drive our development,” he added.

A commitment made at the previous international summit in Glasgow to spend half of climate funds helping developing countries adapt to the effects of a warming world by having infrastructure and agriculture that can withstand more volatile weather systems, must be complied with, said Jean-Paul Adam, climate change director for the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa.

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He added that between 2014 and 2018, the continent received only about 7.5% of its promised $70 billion in climate finance.

According to estimates by the UN and the African Development Bank, Africa needs about $3 trillion to meet its self-determined emissions targets, known as nationally determined contributions.

More meetings between the continent’s climate leaders will follow ahead of COP27.

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