Namibian Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism on Monday highlighted the pressing urgency of addressing the adverse impacts of climate change across the continent.
Speaking at the Green Climate Fund’s Regional Dialogue with Africa in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, Shifeta stressed that while adaptation to climate change is a top priority, the available financing for these efforts falls far short of what is needed.
The Green Climate Fund is a global financial mechanism established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide financial support to developing countries for both mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Shifeta underscored the vital role of developed countries in fulfilling their climate and development finance pledges, urging them to meet commitments to double adaptation finance, with a particular focus on supporting Africa.
For the continent, adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change is urgent. And yet financing for climate adaptation is only a drop in the ocean of what is needed, he claimed.
Shifeta said that African countries have outlined bold aspirations to build climate-resilient and low-carbon economies in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement. Many of these commitments, however, are conditional upon receiving adequate financial, technical, and capacity-building support.
“Climate finance is critical for enabling Africa to adapt to the growing impacts of climate change and to ensure that its future development path is consistent with the goal of limiting global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius,” he said.
He said public funding alone will not be sufficient, given the magnitude of investments needed, and current and future constraints on public domestic resources in Africa while insisting that the private sector has significant potential to meet Africa’s climate finance needs.
To mobilize private finance, public actors need to improve policy frameworks and investment environments and deploy concessional financing to target investment barriers, he suggested.
Shifeta declared that Africa has the opportunity to embrace a low-carbon, climate-resilient path that can lead to both development and climate goals but to achieve this, substantial investments in energy transitions, sustainable infrastructure, climate change adaptation, resilience, and the restoration of natural capital and biodiversity are essential.