Rich nations pledge billions for Africa climate solutions

 US Climate Envoy John Kerry during the summit. [Silas Otieno, Standard]

African countries have a reason to smile after developed nations and organisations pledged financial support to help them carry out climate adaptation and mitigation efforts, among other purposes.

These pledges come at a crucial time when countries need funding to support these initiatives. Rich countries failed to meet their commitment to mobilise $100 billion (Sh14.5 trillion) annually from 2018 to 2020 during COP 15 in 2009 in Bella Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark.

According to Oxfam's 'Climate Finance Shadow Report 2023' published in June, donors claimed to have mobilised $83.3 billion (Sh12 trillion) in 2020, but the actual spending value was at most $24.5 billion (Sh3.5 trillion).

One of the countries making financial commitments is the United Kingdom, pledging 49 million pounds (Sh8.98 billion) for new climate finance and resilience projects in Africa.

UK Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell said the funding is part of the UK’s 11.6 billion pound (Sh2.13 trillion) commitment to international climate finance over five years.

Out of this amount, 34 million pounds (Sh6.23 billion) will support initiatives benefiting women, at-risk communities, and over 400,000 farmers dealing with climate change effects in 15 African countries.

Another 15 million pounds (Sh2.75 billion) will go to Financial Sector Deepening Africa investments to mobilize private capital for small-scale businesses offering innovative and inclusive tech solutions, such as turning deserts into farmland.

Additionally, seven new climate finance projects will improve access to renewable energy, healthcare, and basic services for over 500,000 people. This initiative will generate 3,400 jobs and provide cheaper, more reliable power to households.

The United States of America has pledged the first $30 billion under the Prepare initiative by 2024 to support adaptation and an additional $30 million to accelerate climate-resilient food security efforts across Africa.

This announcement was made by US Climate Envoy John Kerry during the summit.

"President Biden wants to work alongside African nations to lead the way in adapting to and managing the impacts of climate change. That is why as part of Prepare, he is committed to work with Congress to provide $3 billion annually for adaptation by 2024, the largest commitment in US history," said Mr Kerry.

The US is also collaborating with partners to design an effective fund to help vulnerable developing countries address loss and damage.

"First, we shall provide $20 million to the Africa Adaptation Initiative for Food Security Accelerator, which will invest in African agricultural business and help them create their own independent and climate-resilient supply chains," Kerry said.

The second $10 million, he said, will go to the Climate Resilience and Adaptation Finance and Technology Transfer Facility to scale technologies advancing adaptation like cold storage.

Furthermore, the United Nations office has committed to providing at least $500 billion in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) stimulus annually to assist developing countries in investing in their people and necessary systems.

The announcement was made by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Nairobi.

The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Centre for Adaptation (GCA) have pledged $25 billion by 2025 to support climate change adaptation programs for youth and women.

AfDB President Adesina Akinwumi, while speaking during the Africa Climate Summit yesterday, said women and youth must be at the centre of climate financing.

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