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African campaigners search for innovative climate
financing amid declining external support

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Greater focus on domestic resources as opposed to dwindling overseas support is key to sustain financing of climate resilience projects in Africa, campaigners said on Thursday evening during a pan-African climate forum taking place in Nairobi.

The green advocates noted that geopolitical tremors that have triggered uncertainties in the multilateral climate financing regime are a wake-up call for African countries to explore new sources of funding within their borders.

Muawia Shaddad, head of Sudanese Environmental Conservation Society, said that African countries should enact robust policy and legislative frameworks to bridge climate financing gaps through domestic resource mobilization.

“Over dependence on foreign donors to finance climate change programs here in Africa is no longer tenable and we have no choice but to look for resources internally. It is doable given the level of economic vitality in the continent,” Shaddad said.

Kenya hosted the seventh Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-VII) conference that discussed viable options to boost resilience of the continent’s economies against a backdrop of disruptions caused by global warming.

Hundreds of delegates in attendance who included policymakers, scholars and grassroots campaigners agreed that Africa must focus on home-grown initiatives to boost climate financing as support from traditional donors slump.

Robert Chimambo, leader of a Zambian small-holder farmers’ coalition, proposed higher taxation on fossil fuels and mineral wealth that is abundant in Africa to help finance climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“Part of revenue generated from mining activities and exploitation of fossil fuels should be channeled towards community based resilience projects like reforestation, water management and climate smart agro-pastoralism,” said Chimambo.

African countries should strengthen public private partnership to boost financing in climate resilience projects that accelerate low carbon growth while generating new jobs for the youthful population.

James Kinyangi, the chief climate policy officer at African Development Bank (AfDB), said that policy and regulatory incentives are key to encourage indigenous firms invest in green projects.

“Governments should encourage listed firms to invest in projects that promise a green and sustainable future for everyone,” said Kinyangi adding that a stable macro-economic environment is key to sustain climate financing in Africa.



Pan African climate summit adopts resolutions to drive green agenda

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The seventh climate change and development in Africa conference (CCDA-V11) wrapped up in Nairobi on Friday with participants endorsing sweeping recommendations to hasten green and inclusive growth in the continent.

Mohamed Elmi, chief administrative secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural resources, said the three-day summit injected vitality into efforts to find home grown solution to Africa’s climate change crisis.

“After three days of fruitful deliberations, everyone agreed that African-led initiatives to tackle negative impacts of climate change have the potential to deliver results in the long-term,” said Elmi.

More than 700 delegates who included policymakers, representatives of regional blocs, researchers and grassroots campaigners attended the pan African climate forum in Nairobi to explore innovative ways to reactivate the continent’s green agenda.

Elmi said that resolutions adopted at the forum will be presented at the forthcoming global climate summit to be held in Poland from Dec. 2-14.

“We have resolved to speak as a united bloc to ensure our voice is heard at the 24th session of conference of parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will take place in Poland coming December,” said Elmi.

“A united Africa should push for developed countries to honor their commitment in emissions reduction and green finance,” he added.

Among the resolutions adopted at the Nairobi pan African climate forum included domestic resources mobilization, robust grassroots education and harmonization of policies to hasten low carbon development.

Olushola Olayide, a senior policy advisor at the African Union Commission, said that a retooling of climate change mitigation and adaptation in Africa is required to realize a green growth that benefits everyone.

“A paradigm shift must inform our next stage of climate change response as we learn from past successes and failures,” said Olayide.

“It cannot be business as usual as our continent continues to suffer from a chain of environmental disasters that can be tamed if we invest in clean energy,”Olayide added.

John Bideri, chair of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Rwanda chapter, said that a continental dialogue should be reactivated to hasten the momentum towards achieving zero carbon emissions development.

“We have a chance to move forward the climate agenda by involving all stakeholders. The next phase of dialogue should focus on how the continent can tap into its innovations, abundant natural resources and skilled workforce to enhance its climate resilience,” said Bideri.

He added that low carbon emissions growth is an imperative as African countries grapple with rapid urbanization and pressure on natural resources.


African experts urge robust action on rising temperatures to save livelihoods

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Governments and industries must double efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions in order to halt rise in atmospheric temperatures that is posing serious threats to livelihoods and natural assets in Africa, experts said on Thursday.

They made the call at a pan African Climate summit in Nairobi.

The experts agreed that the future of African communities is at stake as a warming planet trigger recurrent droughts, food shortages, new epidemics and disruption to ecosystems.

Yacob Mulugetta, an Ethiopian scholar and lead author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on global warming, said that rising temperatures will reverse socio-economic gains African countries have made in recent times.

“Global temperatures rise that has been influenced by human activities is having profound consequences in Africa where extreme weather events have occurred with bigger intensity,” said Mulugetta.

“Actionable targets to limit greenhouse gas emissions are inevitable in order to enhance climate resilience for African communities,” he added.

Mulugetta said that the international community has a moral obligation to support climate change mitigation and adaptation in Africa through deployment of green technologies and awareness creation.

The UN IPCCC report that was launched on Oct. 8 in Incheon, South Korea stated that failure to limit emission of planet warming gases is likely to worsen droughts, poverty, hunger and disease outbreaks in the least developed countries majority of which are in Africa.

Mulugetta warned that rising temperatures will adversely affect power generation, tourism, infrastructure development and human settlements in the World’s second largest continent.

“Limiting the atmospheric temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius is not an option if we are to save communities, nature and livelihoods in vulnerable African countries,” Mulugetta said.

Mark Majodina, Regional Representative for the World Meteorological Organization, said that action on atmospheric warming should be embedded in Africa’s development agenda.

“Basic scientific evidence reveal that Africa is warming rapidly hence worsening the vulnerability of communities to extreme weather events. Putting a cap on carbon emissions is key to enhance the resilience of populations,” said Majodina.

African countries should be at the center of global conversations on innovative ways that should be adopted to halt warming of the planet that has escalated against a backdrop of consumption of fossil fuels to power industrial growth.

Laban Ogallo, a Kenyan Climate Scientist, said that less costly but effective options including reforestation, clean manufacturing, protection of watersheds and adoption of renewable energy sources, have the potential to accelerate low carbon development in Africa.



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