What does climate justice mean for Africa?

Recently, French President, Emmanuel Macron, convened a Summit for a New Global Financing Pact to find a road map for easing the debt burdens of low-income countries while freeing up more funds for climate financing.

The French president presented four pillars that should underpin the new global financial pact saying: “First, no country should have to choose between fighting poverty and protecting the planet.

“Second, each country must follow its own path because there is no single model. Third, we need to take on a public funding shock.

“And fourth, we need more from the private sector to mobilise a lot of money.”

The summit was coming eight years after the Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 Parties at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) on Dec. 12, 2015.

The Paris Agreement, which came into effect in 2016, was greeted as a landmark legally-binding international treaty on climate change.

Its core goal is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and make efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

However, to achieve this, it was agreed that greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43 per cent by 2030.

Unfortunately, through a combination of poor commitment, a lack of collaboration and inequality in resources, the world is at risk of missing that crucial target.

Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, said at the Paris summit that the world watches while the clock ticks.

“Today, the window of opportunity to achieve this goal is closing before our eyes:

“The past eight years have been the warmest on record worldwide and the critical 1.5°C threshold for annual temperatures will likely be exceeded in at least one year before 2027.”

Lagarde’s pessimism is not unfounded. Provisional figures released by the UK Met Office show that June 2023 is poised to be the hottest June on record in the United Kingdom.

The figures indicate that both the overall average and the average maximum temperatures are the highest on record.

Interestingly, the development is not peculiar to the UK.

Achieving the target set in the Paris Agreement at COP21 was hinged on four components: mitigation, adaptation, finance and collaboration.

Failure to achieve the 1.5/2°C goal already means that stakeholders have fallen short of the mitigation component.

Also, the impact of climate change on developing countries, especially in Africa, is an indication that the support, funding and awareness required for adaptation needs have been inadequate.

The Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) was established for that reason at COP26 in Glasgow to enhance resilience and assist the most vulnerable communities.

In terms of finance, experts say developed countries have failed woefully to fulfil their financial commitments to the Paris Agreement.

(FROM: EnviroNews)

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