Ethiopia Plays Leading Role in Africa in Terms of Climate Action: GGGI


Addis Ababa February 27/2024(ENA) Ethiopia's tree planting initiative and the government's resolve to combat climate change is what the world exactly needs to avert current global challenges, a senior official at the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) underscored.   

Recalled that Ethiopians have embarked on an ambitious campaign of planting billions of trees every year in an effort to achieve a greener and cleaner environment and tackle the adverse effects of climate crisis.  

So far the country has planted more than 32.5 billion trees through the Green Legacy Initiative launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2019.

Deputy Director General and Head of Green Growth Planning and Implementation at GGGI Helena McLeod commended the efforts of the government to reduce impact of climate change and expressed keenness to work with Ethiopia. 

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Helena McLeod said that Ethiopia plays a leading role in Africa in terms of climate action and that is a role the country has been meeting for many years, and we're very happy to support the government on that.

McLeod, who visited Ethiopia recently, also said that Ethiopia is one of the most beautiful countries she had visited in the world.

Noting that the country has been suffering from climate change, she said the tree planting program is very significant in tackling these challenges as it creates jobs and increase the fertility of the soil.

Moreover, she stated that the efforts being carried out in Ethiopia will also protect cities in the proper way from flooding. 

"Planting trees has many different advantages, including potentially biodiversity as well. So the tree planting program and the government's ambition is exactly what the world needs and it is leading in that sense," she said. 
According to the deputy director, Ethiopia, as a country before and now is not emitting very much carbon. There are other countries in the world that are emitting much larger amounts of carbon and have made commitments to reduce the amount of carbon emissions. 

"What we trying to do in GGGI is attract climate finance to our member countries," McLeod said, adding that often our member countries don't have enough money to tackle the major challenges that are facing the economy, but also they don't have enough capacity to take advantage of the opportunities.

On green bonds for instance in 2021, the organization supported Peru to issue the largest sustainable green bonds in the world at that point in history. That was for over 4 billion US dollars. 

Since then GGGI is working with over 20 different countries on different types of bond, sustainability bonds and green bonds. 

“We're going to use that experience and bring it to Ethiopia to see whether that's a mechanism where we can bring in more investment to tackle climate change, and other issues like jobs, green jobs, that can also benefit the economy.”

In terms of carbon trading, this is a really high potential area to bring in some additional funding into the country and GGGI works with Ethiopia to make sure that the trade is fair for the country and its interests.

“I just want to say that Ethiopia is such an important country, it's a continent leader. It has a very strong global voice. Your government is very committed with very ambitious targets, including on restoration of land, increasing yield, increasing food security and exporting crops as well. We love working with the government and we will work hand in hand with the government and the people of Ethiopia on this green growth transition.”

GGGI, an international organization focused on promoting sustainable economic growth in developing countries, has been working closely with Ethiopia since it became a founding member in 2012. 

Ethiopian News Agency