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At COP27, will the rich countries keep their promises made to Africa?

As COP27 continues in Egypt, African countries are calling on rich countries to honor their climate change funding commitments.

Last Sunday opened the 2022 Sharm el-Sheikh Conference on Climate Change. This Egyptian COP27 should, among other things, relaunch the fight against global warming. Some good news, like Lula's election in Brazil, allow us to be optimistic about this renewed awareness. But more difficult will be the North-South negotiations. The countries of the South, particularly in Africa, are indeed demanding financial compensation.

We know that Africa emits less than 4% of all greenhouse gases on the planet. But this time, Africa will refuse to start again on an inequitable basis: out of the question that the continent provides the same efforts as the rest of the world. "Maybe it's time we got a level playing field and some compensation," said Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, Democratic Republic of Congo's climate negotiator. during a preparatory meeting for COP27.

Efforts, Egypt, it intends to make to make COP27 a success. "Egypt will spare no effort," Foreign Minister Sameh Choukry said at the opening of the event. “We must be clear, as difficult as the current moment is, inaction amounts to short-sightedness and can only delay the climate catastrophe,” warned COP26 boss Alok Sharma.

Empty promises?

And Africa is scrutinized. Because the continent will be, in the coming years, at the center of the fight against climate change. However, COP26 gave birth to unfulfilled promises. Africa should indeed receive 25 billion dollars, as funds devoted to this fight. We are very, very far from it, barely a few tens of millions of dollars having been raised. More generally, the rich countries had promised to increase to 100 billion dollars per year the aid to developing countries, for the fight against climate change. A promise, again, not kept.

A strategic mistake. Because if “everyone is affected by climate change”, “some people and regions are more vulnerable than others. The regions that will suffer the most adverse effects of climate change are West, Central and East Africa, South Asia, Central and South America, Small Island Developing States and the Arctic. Populations living in informal settlements will be the most affected,” write researchers Julia Taylor and Imraan Valodia who insist: “Many southern climate activists believe that if a funding mechanism for loss and damage is not discussed at COP27, the conference will be a failure”.

Africa is paying for crimes it did not commit

For an effective fight, it would take up to 1 billion dollars by 600 for Africa. The only way today to hope to achieve the objectives set by the Paris agreement. What will Western countries do? "We must act in Sharm-el-Sheikh to make history and not suffer it," says Macky Sall, President of the African Union, who rebukes the rich countries: "We also want to move forward in adaptation to climate change. We bear the cost with the development of green projects often financed by recourse to debt, even though the implementation must be financed by donations in accordance with the agreed commitments”.

We therefore expect this COP27 to simply respect the commitments made in Glasgow. The President of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadera, assures him: “The exceptional climatic crises of recent years have had far-reaching devastating effects on the survival of humanity”. And the Head of State recalls that "the rich countries, major polluters, are the main authors of this endangerment of humanity". Africa, concludes Touadera, "must not continue to pay for crimes it has not committed" and "rich countries must help poor countries to implement their national voluntary reduction action plan". . A good hearer!

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