United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) calls on countries at large to increase financing in order to mitigate impacts of climate change in Africa. UNECA hosted the event in Addis Ababa from August 2-4 in light of the upcoming COP27, under the theme: ‘Towards COP27: African Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the SDG.’
Speaking at the event, Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of UNECA highlighted that 55 million people are facing food insecurity in the Horn of Africa due to the combined impact of successive years of drought and food chain supply disruptions. “African countries are experiencing the impact of climate change costing billions despite their limited contribution to the climate crises.”
Songwe also called on for the scale up of private sector investment, development of Africa’s sustainable finance market, invest in mitigation and adaptation for development, creation of sustainable value chains and invest in a green digital transformation.
The forum was held with the aim of deliberating on opportunities to scale and learn from countries that are leveraging investment opportunities for climate action, and thus sparked discussions to catalyze climate finance and investment flows towards building climate resilience in Africa.
The forum also encompassed devising climate-oriented solutions that would earn Africa carbon credits, tackle key barriers precluding large scale debt swaps, and enhance collaboration between public, private stakeholders and different countries to improve risk management.
Furthermore at the event, projects that were ready for implementation were identified for scale up and replication to be showcased at the COP27. Sessions on financial vehicles for transition finance, up scaling investment in adaptation, green business matchmaking in Africa, and private sector networking for climate action were further looked into.
“COP27 summit is happening in very difficult circumstances and challenges for financing more than ever before,” said Jean Paul Adam, Director of the Technology, Climate Change, and Natural Resource Management Division, whilst indicating that the aim of the session was to gather different partners to pledge finance including from the private sector. “We need the private sector to invest in projects and mobilize finance,” he added.
As indicated on the sessions, there is need to mobilize new financial resources in the face of multiple crises, including through amplifying the role of private capital markets in the development financing landscape. Africa will require investments of over 3 trillion dollars in mitigation and adaptation by 2030 in order to implement its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs).
Additional to increasing the finance, participant also suggested allocation of climate finance to be transparent and accountable.
UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, Mahmoud Mohieldin, commented that the initiative aims to discuss investment opportunities in the sectors of food, water, irrigation systems development, increasing agricultural productivity, new and renewable sources of energy, relevant infrastructure, and digital transformation in those sectors, in a way that helps in implementing climate projects on the ground and, therefore, achieving climate goals and providing job opportunities in the countries of the five regions.