The COP27, which will be held from November 6 to 18 in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, gives hope despite the disappointments of the previous edition. As usual, on the eve of each climate conference, high expectations resurface for the fight against climate change. But COP 27 is unlikely to find a solution to Africa’s climate problems and lack of funding.
Given the economic, geopolitical, and energy context, the discussions promise to be particularly difficult, but the countries of the South could regain control of the negotiations. Particularly exposed to the effects of global warming, even though they emit very few greenhouse gases, they demand financial compensation for their “losses and damage” from rich countries. If an agreement were not found on this point, it would considerably weaken the feeling of confidence, already very fragile.
John Kerry, the US climate envoy, said recently during a visit to Cairo that he hoped the UN World Climate Conference, scheduled for Sharm el-Sheikh in November, could release “the energy we need to change the world”.
“The annual costs of adaptation in developing countries, currently estimated at $70 billion, will rise to $300 billion by 2030 and $500 billion by 2050,” according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Program.
At the same time, African governments are currently devoting between 2 and 9% of their GDP to funding adaptation programs.
The African Development Bank and the Global Center for Adaptation participated in a series of events as part of Africa Climate Week to build consensus among African countries and stakeholders.
Described as the COP of Africa, COP27 must shape the future in a significant way. But to get results on adaptation, experts recommend implementing a transformative adaptation program now.
Loss and damage caused by climate change is a major problem for African states.
Losses and damages are of several kinds: they can occur during long-term events, such as recurrent droughts or rising sea levels, which irreversibly destroy the means of subsistence of certain communities. It can also be sudden events, such as hurricanes or floods that destroy entire villages within hours.
At the Glasgow summit (COP26), the issue of loss and damage could be put on the negotiating table as an absolute priority for countries in the South, particularly African countries, was one of the main advances obtained after years of struggle, notes an expert.
Nevertheless, the question remains open, especially for this COP. According to some conservationists, the first fight is to ensure that the financial mechanism for loss and damage is kept on the agenda that will be discussed on the first day.
“Having this COP on African soil is an advantage insofar as we will be on one of the continents most marked by global warming. This is the time to confront the rich countries with their shortcomings both in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions than respecting the financial commitments made. They must not add to this by refusing to allow funding relating to loss and damage to be on the agenda. At the end of the COP, it is necessary that we can obtain an agreement on the establishment of this financial mechanism which will mark a turning point in the fight against global warming,” underlined Aïssatou Diouf, in charge of international policies and advocacy within the NGO Enda Energie based in Dakar, Senegal.
Moreover, during a meeting on the issue held in Rotterdam, participants suggested that the upcoming UN summit in Egypt could focus on the financial assistance that Africa should receive in the fight against climate change.
Africa indeed accuses the industrialized countries of being historically responsible for climate change.
However, given the low budgets they devote to the preservation of forests and other natural resources, African countries are also accused by the NGO Greenpeace of contributing to the destruction of the environment.
The African continent has an indispensable role to play in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.