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Six of 20 most vulnerable countries are African
With more than 20,000 participants from over 190 countries, COP24 commenced in the hope that countries will create a rulebook that will turn the Paris climate agreement into reality and hold down rising temperature to well below 2 degrees. During the conference, countries focused on establishing rules, figuring out financing and devising ways to verify that nations are meeting their commitments. "we are in deep trouble with climate change," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during his speech at the conference
Although climate change is a global issue, the impacts are not felt equally across the planet. The impacts vary in both magnitude and rate of change in different countries and regions. From a historical point of view, developing countries do not contribute to climate change as much as developed countries, but right now their geographical location and economic status make them feel the impacts disproportionately. The capacity to adapt to climate change can influence how climate change affects individuals, communities, countries, and the global population.
The Vulnerable Twenty (V20), a Group of finance ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, was formed in October 2015 in Lima, Peru. It formed a new international economic cooperation between 48 countries that are among the list of countries facing some of the severest economic and financial risks arising from climate change.
According to a recent report published by Researchers from Imperial College Business School and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London, developing countries will lose an additional dollar for every 10 dollars due to the economic consequences of climate vulnerability. This climate “premium” is adding to vulnerable countries’ financial burden, further exacerbating their economic challenges.
The report concluded that in the past ten years, climate vulnerability has cost the V20 countries an additional US$62 billion in interest payments, including US$40 billion in additional interest payments on government debt alone. “Climate change is already imposing serious risks to our people and our economies, we need to protect this,” said Renato Redentor Constantino of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).
Although V20 countries are on top of the list when it comes to climate change impacts, many of the pledges made by those countries rank among the most ambitious and comprehensive ones to date.
The African Development Bank has also worked on addressing the issues around climate risk. Last year at COP23 in Bonn, Germany, they launched the Africa NDC Hub, a cooperative initiative to support the implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDC) in Africa. The hub focuses on adaptation and private sector engagement, and aims to foster long term climate action, to mobilise resources for implementation and promote coordination advocacy and partnerships to deliver on the Paris Agreement commitments in an effective and efficient manner.
“One of the funding instruments through which we support these activities is the Africa Climate Change Fund” says Louise Brown, climate change expert at the Bank and the Fund’s coordinator.
“The African Development Bank is supporting the identification of gaps for NDC implementation, building institutional capacity, and facilitating south-south learning between African countries ” she adds.
The NDC Hub also supports African countries in developing projects that will mobilize finance at scale to support national sustainable development imperatives. These in turn will promote the development and implementation of appropriate climate actions that allow African countries to achieve the objectives of their NDCs as well as contribute meaningfully to the global effort to combat climate change.