2 April 2016

Africa: Greening Africa Faces Financing Conundrum

Photo: Economic Commission for Africa
Delegates at the opening session of the meeting of the Committee of Experts, African Development Week
press release

Addis Ababa — Climate change is at the heart of the matter and Africa and the world must make it a matter of the heart.

Ambassador Ayo Olukanni, Vice Chairman of Nigeria's Fight Against Desert Encroachment Organization, made the statement at After Paris: Implications for Green Growth in Africa. This panel discussion was held as part of African Development Week in Addis Ababa. Ambassador Olukanni said that while there was a meeting of the minds on the reduction of fossil-fuel emissions at the Paris Conference, there was no decision on how Africa was going to finance the move in this direction. "A pressing challenge for developing country policymakers is how to balance the imperative to develop green economies with a shortage of financing for green solutions," Amb Olukanni said.

"Developing countries need to achieve a balance between their right to development and the extent to which they can deploy their carbon resources to achieve such development. In the Paris negotiations, African countries quite clearly chose to seek support for greener development paths, in recognition of the common destiny of our planet.
"However, the Paris agreement does not make any significant progress regarding capitalisation of existing climate funds or generation of new climate finance mechanisms," he said.

It was unclear in the discussion what would constitute adequate finance to support migration and adaptation efforts in the global south. Different sectors have formulated different estimates. According to the International Energy Agency, the transformation to a fossil-free world will require $1 000 billion per year by 2020. About two-thirds of this - $670 billion – will be needed by developing nations, hence the need for a significant transfer of finance from North to South.

Ethiopia's State Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Mr Kare Chawicha, said his country provided a model for the rest of Africa on how to deal with climate change. He said Ethiopia is developing a Climate Resilient Green Economy, an ambitious vision which is expected to help the country achieve middle-income country status by 2025 and become a net zero carbon emissions economy by then.

"We have developed the overarching CRGE strategy in 2011, which has now filtered down to individual sectors, with their own strategies and action plans. "In addition, we believe there are great opportunities in growing our country in a way that is green by developing clean energy sources including hydropower, wind, geothermal and others. We have embarked on ensuring that we are not only energy self-sufficient, but are also able to become a net exporter, so as to avoid the shocks of climate change due to fossil fuel price fluctuations," he said.

Speakers agreed that the Paris outcome had brought both opportunities and challenges. Challenges include how to realise sustainable development in a green manner amid skills shortages and technological advances, but the opportunities are enormous for countries with a "going green" vision.

More on This

Migration in Africa - Issues, Challenges and Opportunities

On the sidelines of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the Economic… Read more »

Copyright © 2016 United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.