African nations urged to proritise adaptation, mitigation to address climate change

Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, on Wednesday urged African countries to lay down concrete and result-based actions on adaptation and mitigation, including means of implementation, particularly the provision of adequate, new, and predictable finance to address climate change.

Speaking at the 10th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, Shifeta said while Africa has done her part in presenting ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), financial resources, access to technology, and availability of technical expertise remain unmatched to these ambitions. 

“Africa, owing to its special needs and circumstances, shall demand its fair share on climate finance, including technology transfer and capacity building, to pursue efforts towards decarbonisation and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change,” he said.

According to Shifeta, despite its relatively small share of the global greenhouse gas emissions, African economies continue to bear the brunt of the adverse impacts of climate change, and this is in addition to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine conflict, which has increased debt burdens, reduced fiscal space and heightened security risks on the continent.  

“Climate change is threatening Africa’s communities, ecosystems, and economies. It places our developmental gains, our prosperity, and the aspirations of Agenda 2063 in jeopardy. We must respond, collectively and boldly, to the challenges presented by climate change.

“We must work together, both within Africa and with our international partners, not only in addressing the threats posed by climate change, but also in leveraging the opportunities of a just, inclusive and equitable transition to an African green economy,” he said.

In his view, partnerships are critical to an effective African climate response, and such partnerships will need to span beyond ministries, the public and private sectors, and across regional and national borders.

“Africa shall ensure that green investments are inclusive and flow in a win-win situation. We shall pursue vigorous long-term economic diversification policies and strategies that will safeguard the interest of our continent, particularly in consideration of the continental aspirations, goals, and targets of the Agenda 2063,” he noted

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