Our Africa, Our Thoughts
A selection of blogs from the African Development Bank Group
The challenge of the Paris Agreement is “to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century”. It’s a 50-year marathon, made up of successive five-year sprints, and we need to approach it as such.
Sometimes as a quick-fix solution to ending poverty, the world’s poor countries including Least Developing Countries (LDCs) resort to cheap but unsustainable exploitation of natural resources: develop now and clean up later! This approach may have been used by developed nations years ago, but times have changed. Today, climate impacts have become more alarmingly urgent, and at the same time climate-smart solutions are becoming more viable and affordable. It would be simplistic bordering on fatalism to adopt yesteryear’s solutions to 21st century development challenges.
For many developing countries, building a skilled workforce can be a major challenge. In a digital age where an increasing number of traditional jobs are being replaced with technology, it is crucial for emerging markets to build a knowledge economy where their citizens can contribute to their nations’ sustainable development. However, history shows that in many countries, international companies and expatriates have often gone in, done the work, reaped the rewards and left.
In the run-up to 2015’s historic COP21, there was a lot of debate about the role carbon markets should play in the final negotiated Paris Agreement. Many, myself included, called for inclusion of carbon trading; and I recall a general sigh of relief when Article 6 of the Agreement was accepted, seemingly creating space for a new carbon market mechanism (Article 6.4) and transfer of International Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) (Article 6.2).
In 2008, as the urgency of global support for climate-smart development became increasingly apparent, donor and recipient countries established the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) through the multilateral development banks as a transitory financial mechanism to help provide an interim climate source of funding, pending the effectiveness of a new multilateral climate finance facility developed under the guidance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).