Africa withdraws its net release without following finances

Analysts and officials lack international support to pursue clean growth.

LONDON – As more countries, cities, investors and businesses set net release targets, they now cover about half of the world economy – but Africa is so far largely left out of the picture.

Of its 54 countries, only South Africa has set a net zero target – and the failure to revise policies to take advantage of a global shift in low-carbon emissions could mean Africa is missing out on investment, Wendy said. Hughes, a World Bank carbon market manager, said. Group.

But continental officials note that sub-Saharan Africa currently produces less than 4% of global emissions, but that its ‘carbon-saving’ targets are limited, and that most African countries focus on employment and economic growth.

As international investment is already lacking in Africa – and some countries are burning through disappointing promises of cash from sluggish carbon markets – many African countries are struggling to consider net zero policy as a priority, they added.

“Without the funding, it is difficult to have the incentive,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, saying that investments in low-carbon energy systems in Africa were lagging behind.

“The funding is just not there,” she said.

Globally, a growing flood of countries, cities and regions from China to the European Union has set target releases over the past year or two, says Helen Mountford, vice president for climate and economics at the World Resources Institute in Washington.

More than 1,000 large companies have also committed to reducing emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as well as more than thirty large investment groups managing $ 5 billion, she said.

As governments and companies implement their plans, Africa could see both risks and benefits – from tightening supply chains to acquiring a large chunk of cash from carbon offsets, African analysts said during a London climate action during ‘ said an online event.


Officials said Africa, with its main Congo Basin forests, is well positioned to use new, fast-growing markets for carbon credits, which are being sold elsewhere to compensate for emissions.

Gabon’s environment minister, Lee White, said his Central African nation, which had carefully protected its forests, was already absorbing 1 million more carbon dioxide a year than it had released.

“We are not thinking about net zero. We are thinking about how we maintain our net positive contribution to climate change,” he said.

But having financial incentives for forest protection is crucial, he added – from insuring the wood that is cut at home, processed, creating jobs and income to harnessing carbon markets, as companies worldwide the emissions want to compensate what they can not manage.

“This is how we are going to make the Gabonese people think and that is why Gabonese politicians need to think about how to maintain these forests. The forests must become a valuable resource for us,” White said.

Without a clear financial incentive to keep forests afloat and ‘make the Congo Basin forest work for the people and countries of the Congo Basin’, it will not protect any aid or conservation grants.

Despite its already negative emissions, Gabon is also looking at measures such as obtaining the most energy from hydropower, but it needs international funding to build it, White said.

“We are not looking for a handout. These are good investments,” he said.

For him, such finances are “a much better way forward” than seeking help from the Green Climate Fund, which provides loans and grants to developing countries to grow cleanly and adapt to the effects of climate change.


Ogunbiyi, of Sustainable Energy for All, said the lack of investment in clean energy in countries like Gabon – with good low-carbon policies and political stability – was worrying.

In a continent where about 565 million people still live without electricity, access to any source of electricity would be preferable to providing it clean if there is no investment in green energy available, she said.

“They are not waiting for the best solution in the world – they are just waiting for a dignified life,” she added.

In largely coal-fired South Africa, which generates about half of the continent’s emissions from planetary warming, achieving a national net-zero goal will require major investment to shift fossil fuel workers to new jobs for clean energy, Joanne Yawitch said. CEO of the country, said. National Business Initiative.

Many African countries are interested in low-carbon growth – but few have received nearly enough funding to make it a reality, added Anthony Nyong, director of climate change and green growth at the African Development Bank.

Meanwhile, initial payments for carbon storage in some countries have turned out to be a disappointment, said Mithika Mwenda, executive director of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance.

In Kenya, some farmers were promised payments to change their practices to store more carbon in their soils and farm trees, but because the market price for carbon collapsed, they received little reward for their efforts, Mwenda said.

According to him, the burden of addressing climate change should fall mainly on the largest and richest emitters in the world, not on Africa or other poor countries.

“We can not allow the developed countries to live their debauched lifestyles and think that they can solve the climate crisis by asking farmers in Kenya and Gabon to absorb the carbon,” he said.

“Even if you can make the whole of Africa green as a settlement, I can assure you, we will not solve the climate change crisis.”

(Edited by Megan Rowling.)


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