SOUTH Africa’s President, whose coal-dependent country is among the world’s biggest polluters, yesterday criticised international funders for making it difficult for poorer nations to access aid to fight climate change.
Support from multilateral organisations “is out of reach of the majority of the world’s population due to lending policies that are risk-averse and carry onerous costs as well as conditionalities,” Cyril Ramaphosa told the UN COP27 climate summit.
Addressing the meeting in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, he said “funding institutions need to transform… the way in which they fund projects that will enable us to develop with regard to climate change”.
According to a UN-backed report released Tuesday, developing countries and emerging economies need investments well beyond $2 trillion annually by 2030 if the world is to stop the global warming juggernaut.
South Africa, one of the world’s top 12 polluters, last week revealed that it will require about $98 billion over the next five years to transition to net zero.
Last year, at the COP26 in Glasgow, Pretoria secured $8.5 billion in loans and grants from a group of rich countries towards its green transition.
“We need a clear roadmap to deliver on the Glasgow decision to double adaptation financing by 2025” Ramaphosa said in his address.
He called on rich nations to honour their commitments “because failing to honour these commitments breaks trust and confidence in the process”.
The head of state also assured the summit that South Africa, which generates about 80 percent of its electricity through coal, was on course to retire several of its ageing coal-fired power plants in the next eight years.
The World Bank last week granted South Africa $497 million to decommission one of its largest coal-fired power plants and promote renewable energy.
South Africa will require at least $500 billion dollars to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, according to the bank. – AFP