AfDB Round Table on Climate Change-Importance of Environment in Development

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Tunis, 21 September 2010 - “Climate Change permeates all discussions on development and how we address the challenges of finance is an important issue,” AfDB Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Nkosana Moyo, said while opening a two-day Roundtable on African Perspectives on the Issues before the UN High Level Advisory Group on Climate change financing in Tunis on Tuesday 21 September 2010. Mr. Moyo was speaking on behalf of President Donald Kaberuka who is a member of the UN High Level Advisory Group, but is currently attending the Heads of States Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in New York.

Noting that the environment was a global public good, Mr. Moyo said finance to support investments, technology development and transfer as well as capacity building for both mitigation and adaptation was crucial if Africa was to adequately adapt to climate change impacts and take actions to grow a low carbon intensive economy in line with its sustainable development imperatives in a cost-effective manner.  ”For most of the countries in Africa, the overwhelming aspect of the challenges posed by climate change will be how to deal with its adverse impacts through adaptation. These impacts, which are already becoming visible are affecting major parts of the economy in these counties…already pushing back efforts at development and meeting the MDGs,” he explained.

“While the emissions in Africa are only a small fraction of global emissions, the continent can further contribute to lowering the negative global effects of climate change by charting a low carbon intensive development pathway,” he said. He however observed that low carbon intensive options were more expensive, noting, however, that “they offer opportunities for Africa to sustainably develop its abundant hydro, solar, wind and forest resources to promote access to cleaner energy”.   

The AfDB Vice President and Chief Operating Officer explained that the UN High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change was established on 12 February 2010 based on concerns that financial pledges under the Copenhagen Accord could follow the same path as earlier promises to developing countries over ODA. It will be recalled that the fifteenth Conference of Parties (COP 15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 7-18 December 2009, among other things, agreed to a collective commitment by developed countries to provide new and additional resources, including investments through international institutions, about USD 30 billion for the period 2010- 2012. The Accord further commits developed countries to jointly mobilizing USD 100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries as part of a comprehensive and decisive global agreement to keep global temperatures below 2oC by 2050.

Some 30 participants representing key African institutions notably, African negotiators and delegates, African parliamentarians, private sector representatives, policy-makers and administrators in the energy, environment and finance fields will take part in the roundtable. Other participants include Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Designated National Authority (DNA) representatives, financial and carbon market institutions as well as representatives from regional banking institutions.

The UN High level Advisory Group on Climate Change is currently co-chaired by Prime Ministers Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Jens Stoltenberg of Norway. The group is tasked with studying potential sources of funding for scaling up new and additional resources from developed countries for financing in developing countries.

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