COP28 President-designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber stressed today at the Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) the importance of significantly increasing public and private financing to combat climate change in Africa. This lack of funding represents a critical challenge that hinders the development of the African continent and jeopardizes global climate goals and Africa’s sustainable development.
Africa, while contributing the least to climate change with less than 4% of global emissions, is nevertheless suffering some of the worst consequences. In terms of renewable energy, only 2% of the three trillion dollars invested in the world over the last twenty years have been allocated to Africa. This imbalance in climate finance underscores the need to rebalance investments in favor of Africa.
Dr. Al Jaber called on developed countries to live up to their historic responsibilities by delivering on the $100 billion in climate finance promised a decade ago. The failure to deliver on this commitment has undermined confidence in the multilateral process, which must be restored. There are encouraging signals from donor countries, but it is essential to move quickly to concrete action.
The consequences of climate change in Africa are devastating. More than 700 million hectares of agricultural land are currently degraded, an area twice the size of India, and Africa still loses four million hectares every year. Droughts and famines affect livelihoods and lead to migration, while biodiversity, crucial to the survival of African populations, is threatened. In addition, more than 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity and nearly one billion do not have access to clean cooking fuel.
To achieve transformational progress, it is essential to mobilize private capital. This requires fundamental reform of the international financial institutions and multilateral development banks to unlock more concessional financing, reduce risk, and attract private capital. COP28 is exploring additional mechanisms to significantly boost the flow of private finance to Africa. African governments also need to adopt policies and regulations that foster an investment climate for the private sector to create a strong pipeline of sustainable investments.
COP28 UAE, to be held at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023, will be a crucial step to accelerate progress in the global energy transition and climate action. The UAE will play a key role in this process, leading the parties to agree on a clear roadmap for a pragmatic energy transition and an inclusive approach to climate action, “leaving no one behind.” The conference will bring together more than 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth and non-state actors.