African leaders have encouraged developed and more polluting countries to pay more money for initiatives that will support Africa’s efforts to adapt to climate change. In the next three years, African nations hope to raise $25 billion for adaptation initiatives, including strengthening agricultural resilience and modernizing infrastructure.
The president of Ghana, Nana Afuko-Addo, said at a recent Africa Adaptation Summit in Rotterdam, “If we want our continent to thrive, we have to adapt to climate change. To achieve this, adaptation money needs to start flowing at scale.
According to the African Development Bank, half of the funding required for the African Adaptation Acceleration Programme has already been pledged, and they are now waiting for the major polluters in the world to take action.
Africa accounts for 17% of the world’s population. It only accounts for 3% to 4% of global greenhouse emissions but suffers disproportionately from its harmful impacts. Developed countries are generally larger emitters than developing ones.
The effects of climate change are already being felt in most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Hundreds of people are dying daily in the horn of Africa and most parts of East Africa because of a severe famine caused by climate change. More needs to be done urgently to help people adapt to climate change.
On Monday, $55 million in new contributions were announced by the United Kingdom, Norway, France, and Denmark. However, Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, expressed disappointment that just a few leaders from the developed world attended the gathering. Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands, was the sole representative from Europe in attendance.
Sall, who also serves as the chairperson of the African Union, remarked, “I cannot help but note with some anger the absence of leaders from the developed world. I think it would be easier for the Europeans and others to be here than for us to leave Africa to come to Rotterdam. They should be here because they are the big pollutants”.
On a separate occasion in Uganda, the former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, urged African states to increase the pressure on wealthy, highly polluting nations to honor their climate commitments to the continent.
According Robinson, who also serves as chair of the Elders group of world leaders who promote peace and justice, the G20 must come up with new plans to assist Africa with its efforts to combat climate change at the upcoming United Nations climate conference in November, known as COP27 in Egypt.
A $100 billion annual pledge made by wealthy countries to assist developing countries in coping with the effects of climate change and making the switch to more environmentally friendly energy sources has so far not been kept.
“We don’t want to create a situation in which broken promises further erode the already fragile trust,” said Robinson. Developed nations should contribute more to African nations, she continued, “in order to obtain renewable energy, technology, and investments.”
World leaders are expected to meet in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in two months for the UN climate summit COP27.Since the summit is being held on continental soil, African leaders are looking forward to putting a significant emphasis on more funding and putting pressure on developed countries to honor their pledges.