African leaders demand funds to tackle climate change impacts

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The leaders of two dozen African countries Friday urged wealthier nations to uphold their aid pledges so the continent can tackle climate change impacts for which it shares little blame.

They made the call after African leaders on Monday lashed out at industrialized nations for failing to show up to a summit in the Netherlands on helping African nations adapt to these changes.

We urge “developed countries to fulfil their pledges in relation to climate and development finance, and deliver on their commitments to double adaptation finance, in particular to Africa,” the 24 leaders said in a statement as they wrapped up an international conference in Cairo.

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The three-day forum came two months before Egypt hosts the crucial COP27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh in November.

The African continent emits only around three percent of global CO2 emissions, former UN chief Ban Ki-moon noted this week.

And yet African nations are among those most exposed to the impact of climate change, notably worsening droughts and floods.

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.”

Africa not only has a “low carbon footprint,” they said, but it also plays a key role in capturing greenhouse gases, including in the Congo Basin, which is home to the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest after the Amazon.

Funding to help poorer countries curb their emissions and strengthen their resilience will be a key flashpoint at COP27. A longstanding goal for developed countries to spend $100 billion a year from 2020 on helping vulnerable nations adapt to climate change remains unmet.

According to the African Development Bank, the continent will need as much as $1.6 trillion between 2020 and 2030 for its own efforts to limit climate change and to adapt to the adverse impacts that are already apparent.

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