Africa sets targets ahead of UN climate summit

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) – African officials outlined their priorities for the upcoming UN climate summit, including a push to…

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) – African officials outlined their priorities for the upcoming UN climate summit, including a push to get rich, polluting nations to compensate poor countries for the environmental damage done to them.

The continent will also focus on how countries can adapt to global warming and how the continent can best stop further climate-related disasters. Africa has seen debilitating droughts in the east and Horn of Africa and deadly cyclones in the south.

Other key areas for discussion include the transition from high-carbon energy sources like oil and gas to renewable energy and “carbon credit” programs, in which foreign governments and companies pay to plant trees in exchange for producing greenhouse gases.

The UN climate conference COP27 will take place in Egypt in November.

How much funding Africa gets is the biggest factor in how it will be prepared for a hotter future, said Harsen Nyambe, director of sustainable environment at the African Union Commission.

“We remember that the promised $100 billion was never fulfilled, and current assessments show that even that amount is not enough,” Nyambe said, referring to a 12-year-old pledge by rich nations to provide climate finance to poorer nations.

“Africa must be given sufficient time to transition and transform its energy infrastructure. We cannot change abruptly. We need resources, capacity, technology transfer and finance to fuel our development,” he added.

A commitment made at the previous international summit in Glasgow to spend half of climate funds on helping developing countries adapt to the effects of a warming world by having infrastructure and agriculture more resilient to more volatile weather systems must be met said Jean-Paul Adam, director of climate change at the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

He added that between 2014 and 2018 the continent received only about 7.5% of its pledged $70 billion in climate finance.

Africa needs around US$3 trillion to meet its self-imposed emissions targets, known as nationally determined contributions, which the United Nations and the African Development Bank estimate each country is required to submit under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Further meetings between the continent’s climate politicians are to follow in the run-up to COP27.

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