United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has called on developed nations to fulfil their pledge to provide $100 billion a year for developing countries to support both climate mitigation and adaptation.
The UN chief made the call during a virtual COP26 conference on Clean Power Transition, under the theme, ‘Achieving a rapid shift to green, affordable and resilient power systems’.
The conference, Development Diaries gathered, was held amid growing recognition that climate change remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity.
Climate change has contributed to a jump in food insecurity, mosquito-borne disease and mass displacement in the past decade.
Also, the rise in sea levels has led to unusual weather patterns such as Tropical Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in 2019.
Africa, it is understood, has been warming progressively since the start of the last century, and in the next five years, according to the UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), northern and southern Africa are likely to get drier and hotter, while the Sahel region gets wetter.
WMO’s Regional Strategic Office Director, Filipe Lucio, had said in October 2020 that Africa needed to take action in terms of adaptation and mitigation.
‘Huge amounts of money have been earmarked for the Covid-19 recovery and stimulus measures. But sustainable investments are still not being prioritized’, Guterres said at the January 2021 conference attended by African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina.
‘We must invest in the future of affordable renewable energy for all people, everywhere’.
For his part, Adesina, who reiterated that the AfDB will no longer finance coal projects, said the bank had prioritised renewables as the mainstay of its Light Up and Power Africa strategic priority.
‘The bank has been at the forefront of transformative renewable energy projects in Africa, including large-scale concentrated solar projects in Morocco – one of the largest in the world – and the Lake Turkana wind power project, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa’, the AfDB boss said.
The bank, according to Adesina, expects to invest $10 billion in the energy sector over the next five years.
Also speaking, the COP26 President, Alok Sharma, said the global transition to clean power must move at least four times the current pace to achieve targets set out in Paris Agreement on climate change.
He, therefore, called for enhanced global cooperation to boost innovation and economies of scale.
Photo source: Tom Stahl