The squabbling over climate cash will very likely hit fever pitch at November’s COP28 summit
African negotiators have their work cut out to secure the funds needed to stop the continent sliding into disaster.
Top of the list is the unfulfilled $100 billion yearly support pledge by wealthy nations already 12 months past its 2020 deadline. With devastating floods and droughts intensifying across Africa, the promised climate finance trickle needs to become a torrent. Expect demands for rich countries to stump up.
Then there’s the battle over what constitutes assistance. Loans and opaque private deals don’t cut it, says African countries. The money on the table must be transparent grants not smoke-and-mirrors debt.
Don’t hold your breath though.
Carbon trading looks to be another flashpoint. Africa’s largely missed out on Kyoto’s CDM cash windfall. Now voluntary offset markets are booming, with sparse benefits for the continent. Ensuring robust standards and clear rules to channel funds to African nations will be key in the carbon trading tug-of-war.
Accessing funds is another headache, with GCF and others bogged down in red-tape. Unblocking the finance bottlenecks will be crucial if any dollars pledged are to actually reach vulnerable communities.
Securing a sustainable funding flow for ravaged African economies will be a tall order amid tightened belts worldwide. But with stewarded strategizing, Africa could gain ground in advancing its interests. Though whether Western purse strings will genuinely loosen remains doubtful.
After decades of empty rhetoric from developed countries not matched by action, one can only hope that COP28 produces concrete outcomes, not more hollow climate promises from those who have their needs met.