Africa’s priorities on Climate Change must remain on the Frontline,COP27

Climate

Africa is experiencing the brunt effects of climate change despite being the least contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, by less than 4%.

Hundreds of Millions of Small hold farmers who are dependent on rain for agricultural production are adversely impacted by the change in rainfall patterns, searing heat waves, and severe drought.

Climate
African Countries Ownership in Determining Climate Agenda

The Horn of Africa has suffered the most as it is currently experiencing its worst drought in 40 years.

According to the African Bank Development Group (AfDB), the continent loses between 5% and 15% of its gross domestic product to climate change and its related impacts, and needs approximately $1.6 Trillion to achieve the continent’s determined contributions between 2022 to 2030.

“Collectively, African countries received only $18.3 billion in climate finance between 2016 and 2019”

“This results in a climate finance gap of up $1288.2 billion annually from 2020 to 2030.” The African Development Bank Group Acting Chief Economist and Vice President Kevin Urama noted.

Actions and measures to be taken to ensure equitably and just actions towards climate ambition in Africa should be a topic of concern to all, as the world sets on mitigation and decarbonization efforts over adaptation and resilience initiatives that urgently call for climate financing.

As mitigation measures maintain the global temperatures below 2°C, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) evaluates that the continent is most probably to face climate change adaptation costs of US 50 billion per year by 2050.

As much as adaptation is critical in reducing the economic blow in the supply chains, infrastructure, and livelihoods, it is also a significant opportunity to achieve the Sustainable Development agenda that places Africa on a new green and resilient pathway to growth.

In Africa, the private sector accounts for 90% of the jobs and up to 75% of its economic output, therefore, business communities must be included in these climate change plans.

Curb Climate Change, requires numbers to hold power, and effective plans call for a collaborative effort between public and private entities.

Private sector roles in developing the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) which include, involvement and investments, have continued to depreciate, thus losing the bid to increase the resource efficiency and resilience of development outcomes.

Kenya, for instance, is among the few African countries making considerable strides in upholding its commitment to National Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The national and local governments have acknowledged the value of mainstreaming adaptation into development plans and policies across sectors for better management of the escalating climate change risks to foster resilience.

In forging the path ahead, it is clear how important private sector engagement is in the creation of the NAPs or NDCs intended to address context-specific climate vulnerabilities and generate the required financing.

Their role is critical in providing proactive and constructive input for governments to create effective climate policies that attract climate finance and incentives for sustainable business practices like carbon credits.

The Ukraine crisis and the current drought serve as a wake-up call for the transition away from fossil fuels and provided a springboard for the world to enter a new era of inclusive multilateralism to safeguard the planet for a better tomorrow.

In the wake of the energy crisis, the UN Secretary-General’s five-point energy plan will be essential in the push to triple private and public investment in renewables to at least 4 trillion dollars annually.

The roundtable perspectives from the UN Global Compact’s Africa Business Leaders Coalition highlight the need for low-carbon development to deliver a just transition.

Climate
Leaders discussing Africa’s place in the Climate Change, during Roadmap to COP27 Climate Summit.

Despite the clear message from COP26 to work together to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and our environmental impact, the pledge to fund developing nations has not yet been fulfilled. With less than eight years to deliver on the SDGs, now is the time for action for a stronger, resilient future.

During the 77th Annual United Nations General Assembly, Kenya’s President William Ruto reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to sustain and collaborate with all stakeholders on climate change, rise to the challenge and help build a better world for Kenyans thus setting the stage for ambitious action.

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COP27 is Africa’s COP. Looking ahead, African institutions and companies must realize their potential, become climate champions, and bring their voice to the global conversation.

By Judy Jino,

Executive Director Global Compact Network Kenya.

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