U.A.E. Industry Minister Sultan Al Jaber attended the Bonn Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, on June 8, 2023. During the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, African presidents gathered to discuss how to fund the continent’s environmental agenda. Sultan Al Jaber, the president of the upcoming COP28 climate summit, delivered a grim assessment, stating that the world is losing the race to meet its climate change goals. This comes just days before the United Nations publishes its first “global stocktake” to assess nations’ efforts in tackling climate change.
According to researchers, Africa receives only about 12% of the financing it needs to address the severe impacts of climate change on the continent. To address this, the summit focused on mobilizing financing for Africa’s response to climate change. On Monday, several sustainable development projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars were announced. Additionally, Sultan Al Jaber pledged $4.5 billion from the UAE to develop 15 GW of clean power in Africa by 2030. Currently, Africa has around 60 GW of installed renewables capacity.
While these investments are welcomed, African officials argue that meeting the continent’s financing needs requires a transformation of the global climate financing architecture. African states plan to push at COP28 for the expansion of Special Drawing Rights at the International Monetary Fund, potentially unlocking $500 billion worth of climate finance. This amount could be leveraged up to five times. Notably, Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank, called for the inclusion of Africa’s natural wealth, such as forests that sequester carbon, in the calculation of its economic output. Doing so could alleviate the debt burden of many African countries, providing greater financial flexibility for their development initiatives.