Africa needs $2.5 billion to tackle climate change catastrophe

From November 6-18, El Sheikh, Egypt will host the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, often known as COP27. This will be the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference.

During the last conference (Cop26), held in Glasgow, Scotland, very few Africans attended due to COVID-19 and vaccination concerns. This edition is, however, a profound opportunity for the continent, already devastated by climate change, to strike a collective bargain.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) needs assessment estimated that developing countries need $6 trillion by 2030 and Africa will particularly need $2,500. billions of dollars by 2030 to deal effectively with the problems of climate change.

Africa, with a population of 1.4 billion people (about 17% of the world’s population) contributes less than 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but it is the most affected and the least informed about climate change issues.

At the just-concluded Pre-Cop27 Media Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, organized by Kenya-based think tanks (Power Shift Africa and MESHA) and the Rwanda Media Commission, which was designed to equipping journalists to effectively cover the event from an African perspective, experts said increased funding to the continent is key to meeting the emissions reduction target.

At previous conferences, the developed countries that are the biggest polluters have pledged to provide $100 billion to fight climate change in developing countries, but this has never been met.

Mohamed Adow, CEO of Power Shift Africa, said the long-term success of COP27 depends on its ability to move funds from “developed to developing countries – at the pace and scale necessary to meet the climate challenge”.

The climate change expert said a key priority for Africa was to get industrialized countries to “provide and increase exponentially from the floor of $100 billion to at least $150 billion a year until in 2025 and meet commitments to the Adaptation Fund and new commitments to meet growing adaptation needs.

Speaking to African climate journalists, Mr Adow said Africa has long been the forgotten piece of the climate puzzle, but this is intolerable in a year when the continent is hosting COP27, adding that “this has to change, and this must happen at the African CoP.

“If we want to deal with climate change, we have to change our current energy systems because they are failing Africans. Renewable energy has the potential to meet the needs of Africans and help build resilience to the climate crisis.

Daniel Okechukwu Ogbonnaya, Country Representative of the Global Green Growth Institute in Rwanda, echoed the voices of other African activists on the need to provide significant funding to address the climate crisis, which he says is responsible for the low agricultural productivity, drought and the food crisis in Rwanda. Africa.

At the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, while sharing the sentiment of developing countries, advised world leaders that wealthy conglomerates and energies should be forced to release some dividends from their profits to support victims of climate change and to cope with rising fuel and food prices.

He argued that the fossil fuel industry, which emits a significant amount of greenhouse gases, was earning “hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and windfall profits as household budgets shrink and our planet burns.” “.

However, climate change activists like Mohamed Adow and a host of others fear that Africa has a problem because many fossil fuel companies investing across the continent could weaken the collective resolve of governments to talk about climate change. a unifying voice on renewable energy, mitigation and adaptation. , and if that happens, the continent will be in trouble.

Nigeria at a crossroads

Nigeria is beset by the many debilitating effects of climate change and the realities it brings. Despite taking significant action to combat climate change by contributing to the lofty goals of preserving global temperature levels at 1.5 degrees Celsius agreed at COP26, efforts to achieve renewable energy away from fossil fuels are lacking in vigor.

Currently, desertification is approaching on the northern periphery of the country, erratic rainfall/drought affecting agricultural productivity across the country and flooding since 2012 has become a national headache and on a scale never seen in history; yet the engagement has not been fast enough to commemorate climate change.

Regarding the current state of carbon emissions in the country, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) describes the situation in Nigeria as follows: “In 2020, greenhouse gases (GHG) in Nigeria totaled 126.9 million tonnes. The energy sector represents the largest source of GHG emissions (60% of total emissions). In 2017, Nigeria’s GHG emissions per capita (including land use) were 3.37 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, well below the global average of 7 tonnes. GHG emissions for Nigeria in 2030 are estimated at 435 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents, representing a 31% increase in total emissions between 2018 and 2030.”

In 2021, President Mohammadu Buhari signed the Climate Change Act 2021, which provides a structure for the response to climate change at the national level.

The new climate change law, building on previous climate change policies, is considered comprehensive climate change legislation in the West African sub-region.

Under the Climate Change Act 2021, the Federal Ministry of the Environment is responsible for drawing up the country’s budget. The budgets, which typically have a five-year cycle, are put in place to ensure Nigeria meets its net zero carbon emissions targets between 2050 and 2070. Without funding, experts say the target could well be a mirage .

Teresa H. Sadler