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It is time to change African climate narrative, One Campaign

As African leaders gather in Nairobi to discuss the escalating climate crises, urgent action is mandatory to mitigate its effect on the whole world. The One Campaign is urging all leaders to use this pivotal moment to unite around a shared pan-African agenda – one that brings justice and prosperity.

The Africa Climate Summit themed “Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World” will also provide African leaders the platform to challenge narratives and perceptions of Africa being the constant docile recipient and showcase the continent’s strength and aptitude to take a leading role in the fight against climate change and nature loss. This moment calls for active participants in the pursuit for solutions.

African nations are among the most vulnerable to climate change effects and have significant natural assets that could provide global climate solutions. Despite this, the continent receives a disproportionately small amount of global climate finance compared to other regions. The estimated annual cost of Africa’s climate adaptation by 2050 is US$50 billion and the region has the world’s highest potential for renewable energy.  Yet the continent currently receives US$19.5 billion per year in total climate finance and only 3% of global investment in clean energy.

ONE is therefore calling on all leaders to use the Summit as a tool to elevate the following policy changes to start the journey in building a more balanced trade and more resilient African economy:

For World Bank shareholders and donor governments to commit to tripling grants and loans from the IBRD and IDA, which could deliver an additional $1.2 trillion in finance by 2030.

For donor governments to deliver on their commitment to double adaptation finance and commit to a framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation that is needs-based and includes targets and/or indicators.

Unblock the barriers so Special Drawing Rights can be recycled through multilateral development banks and the African Development Bank in particular.

Serah Makka, Director for Africa at The ONE Campaign, said: “The key to unlocking the untapped potential of this continent isn’t handouts or second-hand solutions from rich nations. It’s removing the barriers standing in our way.

“African countries possess the tools, talent and renewable resources to fuel their own growth and be at the vanguard of efforts to tackle climate change, poverty and inequality everywhere. But they are being blocked by a broken global financial system that denies them access to the affordable finance needed to unleash this potential.

“No country must choose between improving the lives of their people and protecting the planet. If the rest of the world truly gets behind Africa they can help unleash a green economic revolution that will drive growth and prosperity across the continent and help the whole world to rise to the biggest shared challenges we face.”

Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Africa Union Commissioner in charge of Agriculture, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment,  said : ”Africa accounts for the smallest share of global greenhouse gas emissions, at just 3.8 percent, in contrast to 23 percent in China, 19 percent in the US, and 13 percent  in the European Union. Yet, the continent is the most vulnerable to climate change hazards.

Ahead of COP28, Africa needs to negotiate not from a victim perspective, but from a solutions perspective. We need to work together as a continent. We have all the resources needed to mitigate climate change challenges.

Development partners need to also honor their promise made in the  Paris agreement of investing $100 billion in mitigating Africa’s  climate challenges. We have not seen the investment yet.”

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