M168b for cli­mate change fight

Lesotho Times - - Business - Pas­cali­nah Kabi Re­cently in Mar­rakech, Morocco

THE African De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB) has pledged US$12 bil­lion (about M168 bil­lion) to­wards sup­port­ing al­ter­na­tive sources of en­ergy as part of African ini­tia­tives aimed at mit­i­gat­ing the ad­verse ef­fects of cli­mate change.

This was re­vealed by ADB Pres­i­dent Ak­in­wumi Adesina dur­ing the African Ac­tion Sum­mit that was held on the side­lines of the re­cently-ended 22nd Con­fer­ence of Par­ties to the UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (COP22).

Le­sotho joined other African coun­tries in com­mit­ting to mo­bilise mul­ti­lat­eral and bi­lat­eral donors to fi­nance the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ini­tia­tives to com­bat cli­mate change which has re­port­edly left more than 280 mil­lion peo­ple food in­se­cure on the con­ti­nent.

Dubbed the COP of Ac­tion, the con­fer­ence dis­cussed ways of avail­ing cli­mate change fi­nance to African coun­tries as they were most vul­ner­a­ble to ad­verse ef­fects of cli­mate change.

The dis­cus­sions also cen­tred on scal­ing up wa­ter and agri­cul­ture as cli­mate sen­si­tive in­vest­ments in moun­tain­ous coun­tries like Le­sotho.

De­liv­er­ing a joint dec­la­ra­tion speech at the African Ac­tion Sum­mit Morocco’s King Mo­hammed VI said “Africa, which has con­trib­uted the least to global green­house gas emis­sions, is the con­ti­nent most af­fected by cli­mate change and its im­pacts on its ter­ri­to­ries, the con­se­quences of which may jeop­ar­dise peace, se­cu­rity and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in Africa”.

King Mo­hammed VI said African govern­ments were build­ing on their own re­sources as well as mo­bil­is­ing mul­ti­lat­eral and bi­lat­eral donors as well as non-state ac­tors to sup­port ini­ti­ates to com­bat cli­mate change.

“Our am­bi­tion to make cli­mate ac­tion a lever of emer­gence in or­der to build an in­clu­sive, sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment model that meets the le­git­i­mate as­pi­ra­tions of African pop­u­la­tions and safe­guards the in­ter­ests of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

He said African govern­ments had com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing the adap­ta­tion mea­sures, adding this could only be achieved if mul­ti­lat­eral and bi­lat­eral donors as well as non­state ac­tors in­vest money to­wards ini­tia­tives to com­bat cli­mate change.

He said the ini­tia­tives in­clude the Africa Adap­ta­tion Ini­tia­tive, the Adap­ta­tion of African Agri­cul­ture ini­tia­tive (Triple A), and Great Green Wall for the Sa­hara and the Sa­hel project.

King Mo­hammed VI said these ini­tia­tives are in favour of an African sus­tain­able co-emer­gence, in par­tic­u­lar the Africa Re­new­able En­ergy Ini­tia­tive, the Con­ser­va­tion of the Lake Chad Basin Ecosys­tem, the Blue Growth, the African Clean En­ergy Cor­ri­dor and the Blue Fund for the Congo Basin.

The sum­mit called for King Mo­hammed to work with the African Union Chair for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the dec­la­ra­tion, par­tic­u­larly with re­gard to the co­or­di­na­tion and fol­low-up to pri­or­ity ini­tia­tives in the ar­eas of com­bat­ing cli­mate change and pro­mot­ing sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

The sum­mit was at­tended by ob­servers from United Na­tions Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UN), African De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB), China and France.

For his part, ADB Pres­i­dent Mr Adesina said the bank wel­comed the dec­la­ra­tion by the African heads of state, es­pe­cially on the is­sue of light­ing up and em­pow­er­ing Africa.

“This is cru­cial. Africa can­not de­velop in the dark and the African De­vel­op­ment Bank is al­ready work­ing on this and will be in­vest­ing US$12 bil­lion in the next five years,” Mr Adesina said.

“I am look­ing for­ward to the ful­fill­ment of the pledge of the G7 coun­tries to pro­vide US$10 mil­lion to the ini­tia­tive.

“The sooner this is made avail­able, the faster we will all made progress in achiev­ing the goal of uni­ver­sal ac­cess to elec­tric­ity and ac­cel­er­a­tion of the growth of re­new­ables in Africa’s en­ergy mix,” he said. The Group of Seven (G7) refers to the world’s largest in­dus­trial na­tions, namely Canada, France, Ger­many, Great Bri­tain, Italy, Ja­pan, and the United States.

UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon said the Mar­rakech con­fer­ence was a spe­cial COP that had an air of prom­ise.

“Mar­rakech is dif­fer­ent from any COP ever held be­fore. African had to bring us to this point. The con­ti­nent took us from high stake ne­go­ti­a­tions to high speed rat­i­fi­ca­tions,” Mr Ki-moon said.

He urged African coun­tries that had not yet rat­i­fied the Paris Agree­ment to join the rest of the world in help­ing shape a new fu­ture.

By 17 Novem­ber, a to­tal of 110 coun­tries had rat­i­fied the his­tor­i­cal Paris Agree­ment which en­tered into force on Novem­ber 4 which makes it legally bind­ing for coun­tries to keep their own com­mit­ment in lines of fi­nan­cial pledges to com­bat cli­mate change.

For his part, China’s Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Chen Jin­ing promised his coun­try’s sup­port, say­ing “China will stay with Africans in their jour­ney to tackle cli­mate change and em­bark on sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.”

France’s Pres­i­dent Francois Hol­lande said it was dis­turb­ing that Africans were the hardest hit by the ad­verse ef­fects of cli­mate change even though they con­trib­uted the least green­house gases emis­sions. He said at least 280 mil­lion Africans were food in­se­cure due to ad­verse ef­fects of cli­mate change and called on Euro­pean coun­tries to in­vest in projects to tackle cli­mate change.

ADB Pres­i­dent ak­in­wumi adesina.

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