No climate fund, No poverty reduction?

Delegates at the Climate Change Conference in Durban
By Sarah Wakasa

DURBAN, 8 December 2011 - The President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, told a major forum at the COP17 talks in Durban yesterday that ”failing to fund climate change is failing to fund poverty reduction.”

The AfDB Head emphasized that rich countries urgently need to address the issue of carbon taxation to scale-up climate funds.

African leaders have repeatedly urged developed countries to honor their commitments and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent between 2013 and 2017. The debate also advocated the need for Africa to explore innovative ways to internally secure its necessary climate funds.

The forum debate comes barely a few days after ministers from over 50 African countries released a statement demanding, “An ambitious second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, effective action under the Bali Action Plan and scaled-up finance” at the ongoing climate talks in Durban.

The Africa Union Chair, Jean Ping pointed out, “Climate finance is the main issue which will determine how climate change adaptation and mitigation can contribute to sustainable development.”

He added, “Africa is ready for a green economy that needs the finance and the technology which will not only help Africa but the rest of mankind.”

Africa is vulnerable to climate change and has minimum resources required to bear the adverse impact but he noted that a few countries including Kenya, Mali and South Africa have plans for a Green Energy Fund to secure climate funding in the long term.

“Climate Finance should not be confused with Overseas Development Assistance,” said Pravin Gordhun, South African Minister of Finance.

“Unfulfilled promises from the international community have incited a lack of confidence,” said the Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa, Abdoulie Janneh.

On the issue of accountability and trust, Barbara Buchner of the Climate Policy Initiative explained that understanding the flow of resources by assessing the number of investments and whether financial resources are being spent effectively is critical.

UNISDR strongly maintains disaster risk reduction as a cost-effective approach to reduce the negative impacts disasters. According to the latest UNISDR policy brief launched at the climate talks, the benefits of disaster risk reduction can be calculated not only by the money saved, but also in more secure livelihoods and saved lives.
Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific Regional Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction take place from Africa to the Pacific.
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