Leaders across the 24 African countries have called on wealthier nations to redeem their aid pledges to the continent so that they can tackle the effects of climate change for which Africa shares little blame.
Ministers of the various African government made this call in a communique issued at the close of a three-day forum in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, ahead of the COP27 climate change conference scheduled to hold in November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
What did the African Ministers discuss?
The African leaders said the financial aid was needed in view of “the disproportionate impact of climate change and nature loss on the African continent”, adding that Africa not only has a low carbon footprint but also plays a key role in capturing greenhouse gases including in the Congo Basin, which is home to the world’s second-largest tropical rain forest after the Amazon.
Why are they calling for aid funding?
Former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon earlier in the week noted that Africa, as a continent, generates only about 3% of the global CO2 emissions. Notwithstanding these statistics, African nations are among the most exposed to the effect of climate change, notably worsening droughts and flooding in the continent.
The leaders, therefore, urged rich countries to meet and expand climate pledges saying poor countries should be able to develop economically while receiving more funds to adapt to the effect of climate change.
The communique also stressed the need to avoid approaches that encourage abrupt disinvestment from fossil fuels as it will threaten Africa’s development.
We need gas for survival
The report by Aljazeera news said Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ahmed Zainab told the Cairo Forum that gas was a matter of survival for her country. Zainab was quoted as saying:
“If we are not getting reasonably-priced finance to develop gas, we are denying the citizens in our countries the opportunities to attain basic development”.
As the COP27 climate change conference draws near, the role of gas in the transition to cleaner energy is set to be a key point of discussion. Also, funding to help poorer countries curb their emission and strengthen their resilience will be another key issue at the conference.