Ahead of the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is set to be held in Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022, Rwanda has set financing priorities towards climate adaptation as key to spur green growth
Developed nations have pledged to provide 100-billion-U.S. dollar annual climate financing to developing countries. European countries have also pledged to double financing support to climate projects in poverty-stricken African countries by 2025.
The plan to finance losses and damages from climate change which the Rwandan Government has already submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) seeks $11 billion for its implementation.
Since 2009, developed-country Parties committed to “mobilising” financing for developing-country parties of USD 100 billion per year by 2020, a commitment that was renewed in 2015, but has not been met thus far.
Faustin Munyazikwiye, Deputy Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) pointed out that when looking at current climate finance pledges during negotiations, they are minimal compared to what is being mobilized for other causes.
Although developing countries demand financial support to plan and implement measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change, only 8% of overall climate finance has gone towards adaptation so far, the UN Environment Programme says in its latest Adaptation Gap report.
Loss and damage
On the sidelines of COP27 in in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, African countries are mobilized to hold big emitters responsible for their past excesses by forcing them to cover the costs of climate change.
The African Group has historically worked with the developed countries group in advancing mutual interests in climate change negotiation, but ahead of COP27 policymakers and activists insist on the need to discuss key issues and challenges towards improving coherence and coordination in the delivery of climate change financing.
Rwanda has been experiencing the worst floods thousands of people affected, hundreds of houses destroyed and massive damages
“These big emitters have responsibility pay vulnerable groups for the loss and damage they have incurred as a result of climate change—or shut down the climate discussions entirely,” says Dr Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of Pan African Climate Change Justice Alliance, a network of African civil society organisations seeking to advance a just climate policy.
Ahead of COP27, the Egyptian Presidency’s focus is especially on helping the most vulnerable countries to enhance their resilience against climate change while demanding significant funds to do this.
According to the latest UNEP Adaptation Gap Report released in 2020, countries should prioritize financing projects that boost the capacity of local communities to cope with negative impacts of climate change like droughts and floods.
“Almost three-quarters of nations have some adaptation plans in place, but financing and implementation fall far short of what is needed,” says the report.
However, experts observed that the key issues on the sidelines of COP27 will not just concern the amounts to be provided for adaptation, and loss and damage but will also concern how funds are provided.
Reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions
Rwanda, just as many other African countries, is facing extreme climatic conditions that are threatening the existence of life with impacts ranging from higher temperatures, drought, changing rainfall patterns, and increased climate variability.
Both Munyazikwiye and Mithika describe the issue as a fundamental question of climate justice since current funds are not reaching the intended programs in various African countries to tackle climate change, despite rich countries committing to provide support.
“Funding challenges are slowing down the fight against climate change in Africa,” he says.
Rwanda’s 10-year ambitious climate agenda features a reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions equivalent to 4.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2030.
Over the 2013-2020 period, reports by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that public climate finance accounted for most of the total, increasing from USD 38 billion in 2013 to USD 68.3 billion in 2020. Within that overall amount, multilateral flows grew by 138% over 2013-20, while bilateral flows grew by 40%.
This article has been published with the support from MESHA/IDRC grant for COP27 coverage
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