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HomeNewsAFRICAN LEADERS SLAM EUROPEAN CLIMATE CONFERENCE NO-SHOW

AFRICAN LEADERS SLAM EUROPEAN CLIMATE CONFERENCE NO-SHOW

The presidents of Senegal, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo say that the absence of senior European leaders from the Africa Adaptation Summit in Rotterdam is concerning ahead of Cop27.

Three African heads of state and other African dignitaries deplored the failure of European leaders to travel to Rotterdam for the Africa Adaption Summit, which is seen as a key stepping stone on the road to Cop27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in November.

Macky Sall, Senegal’s president, said that he was “disappointed” in a frank address that laid bare his frustrations with unfulfilled promises from richer nations.

“I cannot help but note with sadness, the absence of leaders from the industrial world,” he said.

“If we made the effort to come to Rotterdam from Africa, you would have thought it would be much easier for developed leaders to come here. If they are absent – it leaves a bitter taste in our mouths”.

European heads of state from France, Denmark, Finland and Norway failed to attend the meeting in which developed nations are expected to make commitments to the Africa Adaption Acceleration Programme – an Africa-led initiative to raise $25bn in climate finance by 2025.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has already made $12.5bn available for AAAP but commitments from richer nations have been lagging.

The failure of the developed world to secure the requisite capital serves as a reminder that commitments made in COP26 to secure $40bn in climate adaptation finance per year have also not been met.

“It is my turn to deplore the absence of the leaders of European nations as well as the private sector who we know are the biggest polluters,” said Félix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo echoed the sentiments of his African counterparts, attributing the no-show to “sectarian vested interests”.

The presidents all made the point that Africa contributes less than 3% to carbon emissions but it is the most exposed to the devastating effects of climate change.

A few of the most recent extreme weather patterns include widespread flooding in West Africa and a drought in the Horn of Africa that has pushed more than 18m people into extreme hunger in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya.

Senegal’s president said that the developed world’s contribution to Africa climate finance should not be considered “a favour”.

He reminded delegates that Western nations largely developed on the back of fossil fuels and therefore it should rightly contribute to climate adaptation finance.

He added that the developed world’s contribution to Africa climate finance should not be considered “a favour”.

He reminded delegates that Western nations largely developed on the back of fossil fuels and therefore it should rightly contribute to climate adaptation finance.

Sall also raised the issue of Africa’s largely undeveloped gas reserves, which he said should not go to waste simply because the energy source has fallen out of favour with western policy makers.

“We need a baseload of energy to help us support our economies,” he said. “We cannot leave Africa to have renewable energies, no countries can develop only with renewable energy”

Ghana and Senegal have both made sizable discoveries of natural gas in the Atlantic Ocean in recent years as policy makers look to energy finds to reduce the fiscal pressure arising from Covid-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, sought to lessen the obvious dissatisfaction by African leaders that European leaders did not attend the conference.

He said that the leaders of many international and European development banks, who hold the “purse strings” to global capital, were present in the meeting.

“I’m not disappointed,” he said. “We have in the room all of the major development finance ministers. They want to finance the Africa Adaption Acceleration Programme. And so on the practical side, I am pretty happy with what we are getting in terms of support”.

 

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