Road to COP28

COP28 president makes alarming assessment on climate change goals

Africa suffers from some of the most severe impacts of climate change, according to researchers.

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The world is losing the race to meet its climate change goals, the president of the upcoming COP28 climate summit said on Tuesday, as African presidents gathered in Kenya to discuss how to fund the continent’s environmental agenda.

The grim assessment by Sultan al-Jaber, who will preside over the summit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in late November, came three days before the United Nations publishes its first “global stock take”, an assessment of how nations are doing in their efforts to tackle climate change.

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“We are not delivering the results that we need in the time that we need them,” Jaber, who also heads the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, told delegates at the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

The summit, which opened on Monday, is focused on mobilizing financing for Africa’s response to climate change.

While Africa is suffering from some of the most severe impacts of climate change, the continent only receives about 12 percent of the financing it needs to cope, according to researchers.

Hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in sustainable development projects were announced on Monday, and on Tuesday Jaber announced the UAE was pledging $4.5 billion dollars to develop 15 GW of clean power in Africa by 2030.

Africa currently has about 60 GW of installed renewables capacity.

African officials say the investments are welcome but that meeting the continent’s financing needs will require a transformation of the global climate financing architecture.

Specifically, African states plan to push at the COP28 for the expansion of special drawing rights at the International Monetary Fund that could unlock $500 billion worth of climate finance, which could be leveraged up to five times.

The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, called for the continent’s natural wealth, notably its forests which sequester carbon, to be accounted for when calculating its economic output.

“Africa’s GDP must therefore be revalued based on its carbon sequestration and biodiversity, which provide global public goods,” Adesina said in a speech.

“If this is done, the debt to adjusted GDP ratio of several African countries will lower and they will have greater headroom to borrow more financing to support their development.”


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