With just two months to go before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, Africa and other developing regions of the world bearing the brunt of climate change are warning its transformation into a simple shop of promises.
The President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and speakers from the 2n/a Tuesday’s climate and development ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York has challenged the commitment of developed countries to delivering on the promises they have made during COP26 in Glasgow and the 2015 Paris Agreement.
They called for urgent action to raise funds for the world’s most vulnerable nations.
The highest-level meeting wants climate and nature goals to be integrated into financial and economic policy, as well as an important action point to present at COP27 in November.
” We’re late. We need to act. I’m tired of saying the same thing too many times in the same meetings. The status quo is the collective enemy. It’s time to act,” said US climate envoy John Kerry, adding, “We are working on something serious to put on the table in Sharm El Sheikh.”
Senator Kerry spoke of his recent trips to Nigeria and Senegal, which are among 48 sub-Saharan countries that contribute less than 0.55% of carbon dioxide emissions but suffer disproportionately from the impacts of climate change.
He said the world must change the way it does business before COP 27 and called for the involvement of the private sector to raise the finance needed to fight climate change. “Climate and development go hand in hand. The key point is: where is the money? All promises were left in Paris.
Dr Adesina painted the reality of climate change in some of the African countries he visited recently, describing the situation as heartbreaking.
“In Cabo Verde, there has been no rain for almost three years. In Mauritania, large areas are deserted due to lack of rain,” said the director of the African Development Bank.
Adesina said at the meeting, “Africa is hurting, suffocating and in serious financial distress for what it did not cause. There must be a greater sense of urgency not in talking, but in doing and providing resources that the continent desperately needs.
He instructed the world to deliver at COP 27 – COP Africa, “we have to deliver the goods there. If there is good to deliver, it is really a question of adaptation. We desperately need adaptation finance.
Adesina spoke about the Bank-led Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, which is mobilizing $25 billion in financing to support the continent at scale.
Speakers called for a coordinated strategy that involves donors, partners and the private sector working together to finance climate change, especially for adaptation. Furthermore, they urged countries to honor the pledges they made at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
“Adaptation never gets the attention it deserves. We need to make sure we fund the things that have the biggest impact, said Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-founder Bill Gates.
He highlighted how the challenge of climate change has been highlighted by a series of adverse weather events this year, underscoring the urgency of action, including investing in technologies and scientists in developing countries.
“It’s fantastic that there is a target to double adaptation funds by 2025 to $40 billion. I will say a few words about how we plan to measure that $40 billion. The first is that it should probably focus on low-income countries. The needs there are quite traumatic. There is a question of how we define this money given these weather events and their effects on agriculture…”
He added: “I don’t think the global community is saying we should spend less on vaccines to fund climate adaptation, but rather that we want that money to be extra in the aid budget.”
The Rwandan Minister of Environment, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, and co-chair of the meeting, echoed the voices of young people at the meeting.
She said: “As you can see, young people are worried about their future. Let’s take advantage of today’s ministerial meeting to learn from each other and share real, concrete actions that will make young people proud of us. We are here together, working hand in hand to tackle the climate crisis to ensure a bright future for our young people.
A young climate activist from Papua New Guinea, Vinzealhar Ainjo Nen, highlighted the reality of the situation in her country.
“Papua New Guinea is one of many island nations experiencing the effects of climate and natural crisis – long droughts, submerged islands – you name it. My people and I live in these conditions every day “, she said during the meeting.
Referring to what she described as a long and complicated legal process to access climate funds at national and international levels, she observed: “I must point out that mother nature does not operate within legal frameworks, and we do not we have no time to waste. »
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Simon Stiell, echoed the need for what he called “a series of actions” to mobilize funding.
“We have to make the whole architecture work. Climate disasters increasingly come in a variety of forms. We are formally in a decade of decisive action,” he reminded the assembly.
Rwanda and the UK Presidency of COP 26 co-chaired the second Ministerial Meeting on Climate and Development to review progress since the COP 26 United Nations Climate Change Conference and advance transformational global climate action.
The meeting brought together more than 30 countries and representatives from the UN, World Bank, African Development Bank and IMF to assess areas of progress on priorities for climate-vulnerable countries and drive climate action.
Click here to watch President Adesina’s speech at the event