Africa contributes less than 4% of the world’s emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuels and industry. However, it suffers disproportionately from the effects of climate change. Cyclones, floods, high temperatures, and droughts are killing and displacing millions of Africa. Climate change is not letting up. Floods in Nigeria and South Africa, droughts in Kenya and Somalia, and food crises in the Horn of Africa have led to massive deaths and huge damage to homes and infrastructure that cannot be recovered. Who will pay for the climate damage?
Finance is at the heart of the COP27 negotiations. Africa is anxious for a solution to the issue of loss and damage and is pushing for finance to address loss and damage as a result of global warming. The special needs and special circumstances of Africa are a priority for the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) at COP27. The argument is that developed countries largely responsible for climate change should pay for the loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure, not to mention economic and cultural losses endured by developing countries that do not have the means to deal with the impacts of climate change.
Selam Kidane Abebe, Legal Advisor to the AGN, explained, that African countries were investing up to 9% of the GDP on adaptation, money that should be invested in their equally pressing and urgent development sectors.
In 2009, developed countries committed to giving $100 billion annually until 2020 to help developing countries reduce emissions and cope with climate change. The money never came, and this target has been moved to 2023.
Will it ever arrive?