Europe’s leaders are avoiding the African climate conference

When African leaders gathered in the Dutch city of Rotterdam this week to find solutions and money to help them adapt to climate change, only one European leader attended them in person.

Enegalese President Macky Sall said the failure of richer nations to get around the table and discuss how to pay for the climate damage they are causing was disappointing – an issue to be discussed at the forthcoming UN climate talks in November in Egypt will be high on the agenda.

“I can’t help but note, with some bitterness, the absence of leaders from the industrial world,” he said at the Africa Adaptation Summit, adding that he believed the meeting, held in Europe, would make it “easier” for them to attend.

“They are the main polluters on this planet and they are the ones who should be funding adaptation,” Mr Sall added.

A lack of climate finance will be a key issue at the UN Cop27 climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, as African leaders demand rich nations support their adaptation to growing climate risks.

Africa has about a fifth of the world’s population but produces less than 3 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change, according to the International Energy Agency.

Despite this, the continent is disproportionately affected by climate impacts such as droughts and floods, underscoring the need for countries to invest in projects such as upgrading infrastructure and strengthening agricultural resilience.

At last year’s UN climate talks in Glasgow, industrialized nations committed to doubling funding for adaptation projects in developing countries to around $40 billion (€40 billion) a year by 2025.

Whether that will happen remains unclear, as the $100 billion a year promised to vulnerable states by 2020 to adapt to climate change and make their energy systems greener has still not been met.

Meanwhile, the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation aim to raise $25 billion by 2025 for their Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) to accelerate and scale up efforts to adapt to climate change across the continent.

The bank has pledged half the total amount for the Africa-led program and is seeking investment from developed countries. Pledges of $55 million to the AAAP by the UK, Norway, France and Denmark were announced at Monday’s summit.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said he will urge richer nations at the COP talks to contribute to the AAAP and deliver on climate finance pledges, including the long-standing $100 billion pledge.

“As the world is on fire and flooded, people’s eyes everywhere will be on COP27 decision-makers,” said Akufo-Addo, who also chairs the Climate Vulnerable Forum country group, at the Africa Adaptation Summit.

“If we want our continent to thrive, we need to adapt to climate change — and to do that, adaptation finance needs to flow in at scale.”

The amount of funding Africa needs to prepare for the impacts of climate change and a greener economy far exceeds current funding. Europe’s leaders are avoiding the African climate conference

Fry Electronics Team

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