Thursday, December 4, 2014

Africa Chases US$600 Billion to Address Climate Disasters Annually

Peter Labeja, PAMACC Team, Lima

Seyni Nafo
Seyni Nafo, the African Group spokesperson says recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund are a small step. Funding around US$ 2.4 billion per year is not close to the actual need, and is a far cry from the $100 billion pledged for each year to 2020.              
Africa requires up to US$ 600 billion annually to be able to cope with climate change disasters over the next five years, negotiators at the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Summit in Lima, Peru have announced.
Seyni Nafo, the African Group spokesperson says recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund are a small step. Funding around US$ 2.4 billion per year is not close to the actual need, and is a far cry from the $100 billion pledged for each year to 2020.
The group wants the Lima conference to provide a clear road-map of how adequate finance contributions will increase step-by-step to 2020. On a global level, US$1 trillion is required to support developing nations to prevent temperature rise from the current 0.8 Degrees Celsius to 1.5 Celsius degrees.

According to Seyni, the Lima Conference should capture the US $ 100 billion Africa requires as minimum value to be contributed by the developed nations in the text of Paris 2015 binding agreement that will be discussed in Lima.
He added said the group feels only adequate climate finance will propel adaptation support and mitigation actions to a continent which remains the most vulnerable to impacts of climate change despite being the least responsible for Climate Change.
“The one hundred billion in the decision is a flaw. It is a flaw. It is the minimum. It has to be captured in the agreement as the minimum that we need”, Seyni explained adding that the minimum could be zero and yet the need of Africa is enormous.
“The need might be 1,000 billion US dollars (1 Trillion US dollars) and we as global community need to know how we are going to mobilize that. It is sustained efforts similar to the one launched by UN Secretary General after Copenhagen to get African Development Bank, World Bank and IMF indicate what they were able to contribute. It is what we need most right now”, Seyni stated.
Robert Bakiika, a Ugandan Civil Society Climate Change Finance Expert attending the Lima talks says developing Countries had hoped to raise the bulk of the US$ 100 Billion from Carbon Markets under an arrangement called the Climate development Mechanism created under the Kyoto Protocol.
Unfortunately, Bakiika says, the Certified Emission Credit under the Climate Development Mechanism, a major source of Climate Finance for Africa has equally collapsed due to lack of profits in the Carbon Market. This has drastically affected the replenishment of Adaptation funds and opened African governments to defend Climate disasters with a meager resource envelop.
“Adaptation fund at the current state of play is at the verge of collapse in the sense that its immediate and the most direct financing source was the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) certified emission credit”.
The biggest challenge with the CDM market is that it has collapsed due to expiry of the 2012 agreement period, directly affecting the replenishment of the adaptation fund.
“So the adaptation fund is now surviving on the goodwill of donor countries just like the UNFCCC trust fund on voluntary contributions – yet this was not the actual idea about establishing the adaptation fund. So what is the future of adaptation fund without financial resources?” Bakiika asked.
The African group of Negotiators says lifting African people from poverty remains a big challenge for the continent with limited access to clean and basic energy services.
This renders the second most populous continent with an estimated population of 1.033 billion people much more vulnerable to the effects of Climate change such as droughts, floods and Agricultural failures, landslides among others.
Samson Samuel Ogallah, a Civil Society negotiator with Pan African Climate Justice Alliance at the Lima talks says Africa has been unfortunate to receive shifting goal posts at the helm of every new demand it puts forward at the annual Conference of Parties.
Ogallah says the negotiations at the COP Process are such a challenging and frustrating negotiations that Africa has seen in the past 20 years. “Every COP comes with new terminologies to detract Africa from focusing on what we actually need to better adapt to the impact of climate change”.
In warsaw (2013), the issue of loss and damage came on board very strongly and in Lima, the terminology of INDC which is Intended Nationally determined Contributions is also coming on board very strongly. Ogallah says “they are aimed at putting additional burdens on Africa and other developing countries to carry on additional pains of servicing the climate change challenges and impacts which Africa contributed least to its causes”.
The implicated rich countries have pledged US $9.7 Billion to the new UN Green Climate Fund (GCF). In addition, they have implored developing countries to state by March 2015 what and how much each country is willing and able to domestically do towards addressing impacts of Climate Change.
Sam Ogallah says the new demands came up in Warsaw, Poland to the dismay of African countries as they grapple with losses and damage due to Climate Change.
“Each country has to make contributions domestically that will address the impact of Climate Change at the national level that will contribute to the global level. These include putting in place Climate Change policies and cutting domestic greenhouse gas emissions”.
Ogallah says African countries such as South Africa have started taking some of the required actions just to meet the demands of the global community of polluters.
According to Climate Finance Funds Update (CFU), dedicated climate finance channeled to sub Saharan Africa amounts to only US$1.73 billion since 2003. The funds have been disbursed through 381 projects and programmes.
The Adaptation Fund has approved a mere US$40 million to six projects in Sub Saharan Africa. The projects went to Morocco, Senegal, Kenya, Rwanda, Benin and South Africa.
Nagmeldin G. Elhassan, the Chair of the African Negotiating Group says getting developed nations to live to their pledges is a hard job for African negotiators. He says European Union pledged to jointly contribute finances towards Climate Adaptation for Africa after individual parliaments have considered the spending.
This he says, has delayed the progress of African countries in helping the most poor and most vulnerable to Climate Change to cope to frequent adverse weather effects in Africa.

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