Supporting Just Transition in Africa: The developed world needs to do more

Although Africa accounts for only 4% of global emissions, the continent continues to be affected by climate change, which will have a significant impact on Africa’s productivity and sustainability.

Africa is embroiled in dams on all fronts, lacks the funding and infrastructure to deal with the adverse effects of climate change, as well as navigating the transition to sustainable energy sources.

The promise of funding from COP26 alone is not enough to support it.

Good and bad from COP26

In COP26, there were several significant commitments from countries to phase out fossil fuels and to fight deforestation.

More than 40 countries have pledged to phase out coal-fired power by 2040, an agreement that includes 18 countries pledges to cut off investment in domestic and international coal-fired power plants.

This will have a significant impact on Africa, which needs energy infrastructure and development because it is so dependent on fossil fuels, and the question of how to consolidate funds for energy transfer is still unanswered.

However, while these promises are welcomed, they are not expected to help keep the world below the 1.5 degree Celsius increase promised in the Paris Agreement.

Based on the announcement of COP26, we are currently looking at warming between 1.8 C to 2.4 C.

More positively, the দেশ 100 billion annual pledge of developed countries to support adaptation and mitigation in developing countries will hit every year from 2022, although developed countries initially pledged it under the Paris Agreement and provided about 80 80 billion in climate finance in 2019. .

However, there is already a significant fiscal gap in the leveraged economy and the UN estimates that there is a fiscal gap between পরিবর্ত 2.6trn to $ 4.6trn per year on climate change, a serious deficit.

Further because this transformation needs to be done on a basis that protects societies and communities dependent on existing energy infrastructure and does not leave them without energy.

However, specific to South Africa, an agreement was reached between the countries and several developed countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, to accelerate the decarbonization of the South African economy.

South Africa is the world’s 12th largest emitter of carbon dioxide and the agreement entitled Just Energy Transition Partnership provides $ 8.5 billion in grants and cheap loans over the next five years.

The funds will be used to shut down coal plants, create clean energy sources and provide support for coal-dependent areas.

Such agreements indicate a significant shift from conventional energy sources.

Raising money for fair change

While most of the COP26 news was not positive for Africa, Western pledges pave the way for future agreements to encourage investment in fair conversion.

At the top of the agenda is the need to focus on a number of African priorities to encourage such funding with transparency and governance in investment.

To achieve this transparency and governance, it is essential to define hierarchies that will encourage global investment.

Regulators and other influential financial actors have an important role to play in helping investors determine where their money is going, and stock exchanges can set standards, labels and processes that allow investors to measure the impact of sustainable investments.

In addition to setting strict reporting guidelines, it is important to work closely with local governments to ensure that directed capital is invested.

In South Africa, for example, the establishment of the Independent Power Producer (IPP) office has resulted in significant private sector investment through a transparent process through close work with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the National Treasury and Development. Bank of Southern Africa.

Africa is home to one of the fastest growing populations on the planet and with this growth, energy demand will also increase.

In part, the challenge for Africa is twofold: countries need to electrify their populations, but also expect demand to grow as the population grows.

Switching off fossil fuels in the West’s much-needed schedule would mean significant social disruption, and Africa is currently not in a position to build these pivots overnight.

However, the commitment and support of developed countries for a change of power that requires fair and equitable, social, economic and environmental impacts must be taken into account.

Africa is facing an ups and downs in the fight against climate change, but it is a challenge that continents alone cannot tackle.

Sheryl Bas is the CEO of Absa International

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