With the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) set to be held in Egypt at a time when various parts of the world are experiencing extreme weather conditions characterized by heat waves, catastrophic flooding, and long spells of heat as a result of climate change, finance remains a key debate issue for African climate experts.
Here are comments from the climate experts at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)‘s Climate Change Prediction and Applications Center‘s (ICPAC).
Dr Guleid Artan, Director, ICPAC
As an African, I want the world to realize that we are bearing the brunt of climate change. For us, it is a daily reality. Our continent has already warmed by at least 1.8 degree compared to pre-industrial times, and we’re going from one extreme to another – from floods to droughts.
Up until now, the focus has been on mitigating climate change. It is now urgent to work on adaptation, and countries who have created this mess must be part of the solution. I thought we had an agreement for USD 100 billion to be given each year by developed nations to fund adaptation in developing countries, but we haven’t seen much of it.
My hope is that, following up from COP26 in Glasgow, a clear implementation plan can be agreed. Politically, the situation is more favorable. The US is back in the game. Still, the American mid-term elections could change that and, given the size of the task ahead of us, there’s a long way to go.
Dr Ahmed Amdihun, Disaster Risk Management Programme Coordinator, ICPAC:
We must step up climate action and this time with a focus on words and commitments to actions. It is good news that the EU has reaffirmed its commitment to climate action including the USD 100 billion each year. This must now be followed by other emitters.
Transparency is important; therefore, I believe a Global Solidarity for Adaptation Actions should be set up. It’s been reported that 25% of the funds for adaptation measures have been disbursed already, but without any trace particularly in Africa where institutions like ICPAC and local communities need to access this funding.
We must also work on policy. The way we’re handling climate change is, in my view, a bit fragmented. We must bring coherence between the different agreements and commitments that drive the climate agenda (Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework, SDG Declaration, to name a few). We’ll reach our objectives faster if we bring consistency and alignment.
Finally, I hope that the concept of anticipatory action can be mainstreamed in all commitments made at COP. Early warning systems for multi-hazards play a huge role for effective disaster risk reduction and enhancing community resilience.