Keep your promises on climate finance, African leaders tell West

EMMA FARGE

AFRICAN leaders demanded at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, that wealthy countries responsible for the bulk of carbon emissions make good on an earlier pledge to provide $100 billion a year to help poorer countries cope.

Africa, responsible for just 3% of global emissions, is seen as the most vulnerable region to climate change, as evidenced by crippling droughts in Madagascar this year which the United Nations referred to as “climate change famine.”

Developed countries pledged in 2009 to provide $100 billion by 2020 but it is not currently expected to be met until 2023, although a U.S. envoy and EU official said on Tuesday that it might be possible earlier.

“The world promised $100 billion. The world promised more money for adaptation. The world needs to keep its promises,” Democratic Republic of Congo’s president, Felix Tshisekedi, said at a session focused on Africa’s adaptation to such climate change events as more devastating droughts and cyclones.

“Africa cannot be left on its own to deal with increasingly damaging effects,” he told the conference.

Not all of the $100 billion is due for Africa.

Tshisekedi, currently African Union chair, said the continent was now receiving just $6 billion a year for adaptation but that it required at least $33 billion.

Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, also called on Western countries to meet the $100 billion target as well as step-up technology transfers and green debt swaps. “Africa has done the least to cause climate change and yet our people, especially our youth, will suffer its impact the most,” he said.



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