Addis Ababa December 17/2019 The African Development Bank (AfDB) urged the continent’s nations to stay the course on climate action, after a marathon session of talks at the 25th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) in Madrid.
Africans were reminded of the all-too-real consequences if these talks fail to deliver results.
Thousands of East Africans have been displaced in the wake of heavy rains that have battered the region since October, and more wet weather is expected due to an Indian Ocean Dipole attributed to the warming of the ocean.
Such extreme weather events should galvanize Africans; their governments are spending 2 percent of GDP on climate related disasters, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth at African Development Bank, Anthony Nyong said.
He encouraged the global community to remain steadfast in finding effective solutions to climate change.
“The global community, and in particular Africa has a lot to offer in terms of solutions; what is evidently lacking is the global political will to turn potential into wealth to serve humanity and the planet,” Nyong said.
At the conference, African delegates pushed for support for climate finance to build resilience against the impact of climate change and for special consideration for Africa around targets contained in the treaties under discussion.
The discussions at COP 25 centered around the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, which calls on countries to cut carbon emissions to ensure that global temperatures do not rise by more than 2°C by the end of this century, while attempting to contain it within 1.5°C.
The conference ended with a declaration on the “urgent need” to close the gap between existing emissions pledges and the temperature goals of the Paris agreement.
Nyong pointed out that Africa is committed, 51 of the 54 African countries have already ratified their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement signed at the landmark COP21 in Paris.
Support for the Bank-funded Desert to Power project highlighted Africa’s determination to strive for a climate-friendly world, especially for its local populations, said Nyong.
Desert to Power is a 20 billion USD initiative to deploy solar energy solutions across the entire Sahel region, generating 10,000 MW to provide 250 million people with clean electricity.
“The African Development Bank stands ready as ever to assist its regional member countries to build resilience against climate change, as indicated by the Bank’s decision to join the Alliance for Hydromet Development, announced at COP 25.
The Alliance will assist developing countries to build resilience against the impact of natural disasters caused by extreme weather,” Nyong said.
“We look forward to engaging further with regional member countries and other parties to ensure that the continent’s development agenda remains on track,” Nyong added.
Leaders and institutions from 196 nations plus the European Union, who have signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, attended the conference in Madrid.
Record UN climate talks in Madrid have ended last Sunday in a compromise deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions which left many disappointed.
UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said after the conference that “I am disappointed with the results of COP25. The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate crisis.”