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Africa needs $87bn annually to adapt to climate change: UN official

Africa needs $87 billion annually to implement programs enhancing the continent’s adaptation to climate change, according to a UN official.

Senior Environmental Affairs Officer of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Linus Mofor, highlighted during the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference that the implementation of African Nationally Determined Contributions requires nearly $3 trillion, with about $87 billion annually for adaptation programs alone. 

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, he revealed that the continent currently receives only about $30 billion annually, emphasizing the urgency of bridging this gap to address the pressing issues related to climate change.

Despite African nations contributing less than 4 percent to global carbon emissions, Mofor underscored that they suffer the most from the severe impacts of climate change. 

He explained that Africa experiences an average annual loss of 5 percent of its gross domestic product due to these effects, reaching as high as 15 percent in specific cases.

Mofor praised the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund at COP28, considering it a significant step forward in fulfilling pledges on environmental action. 

He highlighted the importance of global cooperation and financial commitment to support vulnerable nations in coping with the adverse effects of climate change.

When discussing the energy access crisis in Africa, Mofor revealed that the continent constitutes 80 percent of the 733 million people worldwide without access to electricity. Additionally, 40 percent of the population lacks access to clean cooking facilities. 

Commending the agreement of 118 countries, including African nations, to triple renewable energy capabilities and double improvements in energy efficiency, he urged governments to give the private sector a leading role in achieving these targets.

To address the energy deficit in Africa, Mofor stressed the need for at least $500 billion for renewable energy capabilities by 2030 and $2 trillion by 2050. He also called on governments to empower the private sector to play a pivotal role in achieving these targets.

The UN official highlighted numerous initiatives and projects on the African continent related to green hydrogen production and emissions reduction. 

He concluded by expressing optimism about the successes achieved at COP28, emphasizing the importance of continued collaboration and commitment to address the unique challenges faced by African nations in the realm of climate change and sustainable energy development.

Source: Arab News