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AFRICA: pre-COP28 negotiations show no promise for the continent

The Bonn Conference on Climate Change (also known as SB58) ended on 15 June 2023 at the headquarters of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Germany. This was the last chance for climate negotiators to meet before COP28 in Dubai in December. But the 10-day talks ended without any clear, concrete commitments from developed countries on the recurring problem of financing climate action in low-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) will be held from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As is customary, delegates from around the world met in Bonn, Germany, to prepare the broad guidelines for the next COP. These guidelines appear once again to have overlooked the urgent financing needs of the countries most threatened by climate change, particularly African countries.
« According to current trends, Africa’s climate gap is around 1.3 trillion dollars for the decade 2020-2030. Unfortunately, the crucial issue of climate finance in particular did not gain much ground in the negotiations and discussions in Bonn. The failure to make solid progress in finding concrete and sustainable solutions to the ever-growing climate finance gap is particularly worrying in light of the debt crisis facing many African countries today, which is already being exacerbated by climate shocks », says John Asafu-Adjaye, Senior Researcher at the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET).
COP28 is billed as the most important since the one that led to the Paris Agreement in 2015. This summit will see the first global stocktaking, an assessment of the progress made towards achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The agreement calls for richer countries to provide $100 billion in climate finance each year, as well as an additional $40 billion to help developing countries adapt to climate change. But this provision has not been respected.
All is not lost, however. On 22 and 23 June 2023, around a hundred leaders will meet in Paris, France, for the Summit on a New Financial Deal to meet the needs of around 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in emerging economies (excluding China). To achieve this, they are expected to agree on transformational changes such as tripling World Bank lending to low- and middle-income countries, which could reach $1,200 billion by 2030, and agree on the use of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) through similar banks.
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