RIYADH: Developing countries in Africa have urged developed nations to ensure equitable climate change financing for the implementation of adaptation and mitigation projects to address the global crisis, as highlighted by various officials participating in the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.
On the second day of the COP28 summit, President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra emphasized that developed countries, being the primary polluters, should bear the cost of climate change.
“When it comes to determining who should pay for the climate bill, the answer is, bearing in mind the gap between developed countries, which are the primary polluters, and poor countries, it would be logical for the former to finance the mitigation process,” stressed Touadéra.
Also speaking on the second day, President of Equatorial Guinea Obiang Nguema Mbasogo echoed this sentiment.
He emphasized that “it is not enough, in our view, for developed countries to simply wring their hands and make empty promises.”
“Rather, they need to fulfill their commitments and obligations under the Paris Agreement, which we achieved at COP21, and ensure the rollout and implementation of tangible, concrete action to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change,” the president added.
Building on this, Côte d'Ivoire Vice President Tiemoko Meyliet Koné urged partners to mobilize more resources for the adaptation of African countries to the effects of climate change and to ensure financing for the continent’s energy transition.
“Notwithstanding this, there is a need to avoid a situation in which finance for energy transition increases the debt of countries,” Koné emphasized.
This plea comes as Africa, one of the regions with the highest rates of carbon capture and oxygen release globally, experiences minimal benefits, as highlighted by Mbasogo.
“Africa, which bears the least responsibility in terms of emissions, is responsible for just 4 percent of global emissions. Unfortunately, Africa is a primary victim of the direct impacts of climate change,” Touadéra underlined during his speech.
For her part, Italy’s President of the Council of Ministers Giorgia Meloni emphasized the importance of Africa having equal opportunities in the fight against climate change.
“Italy intends to direct an extremely significant share of the Italian climate fund whose overall endowment is €4 billion ($4.36 billion) to the African continent,” she said.
Meloni affirmed that this was not a charitable approach because “Africa did not need charity.”
According to her, Africa needed to be placed in a condition to compete on an equal footing to grow and prosper, thanks to the multitude of resources that the continent possessed.
Additionally, Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo reiterated the continent’s potential to become a green engine for the world.
“Europe will obviously not win the climate race alone; partnerships are crucial, especially with Africa, which harnesses 40 percent of the global solar energy potential. As stated by the president of Kenya at the African Climate Summit, the continent has the potential to become the green engine of the world,” De Croo confirmed.
On the second day of the UN climate summit, leaders of developing nations took the stage to urge wealthy industrial countries to share their expertise in combating global warming and to alleviate the financial burdens they face.
Meanwhile, they highlighted their own natural resources, which absorb heat-trapping carbon from the air.