By launching the $14 billion Climate Risk Facility, Africa has shown that its patience for the West’s failed promises is coming to an end.
Failure can sometimes inspire victory. Just ask Africa.
The recently concluded COP27 global climate talks saw the continent triumph over the status quo over successive failed promises of $100bn in climate financing from rich countries.
launch of african climate risk facility — a $14 billion local, market-based funding tool to help African countries increase the resilience of their vulnerable communities — is a wake-up call to a world frustrated by the hollow commitments of wealthy countries. The financing is a climate solution designed by Africa to support loss and damage (L&D in climate negotiation jargon) caused by climate change. And it should serve as an example for Asia.
Of course, COP27 eventually reached a historic settlement To set up L&D Fund. But the developing world is used to hearing tall promises that never see the light of day. $100bn in climate financing Poor countries were to be reached by 2020. That year has passed and since then the figure has become irrelevant. Pakistan alone needs more than $30 billion to recover from the direct damage caused by this year’s devastating floods.
Why should the new Loss and Damage Fund prove to be any different? At the moment, this is an empty account. It is not yet decided who will contribute. It took the UN-sponsored COP process more than a decade and thousands of natural disasters To agree to set up the fund, therefore, one can only imagine how much damage and loss climate-sensitive countries will have to suffer before the money starts flowing.
There is also another danger. By removing language on phasing out fossil fuels and setting up an L&D fund, COP27 has come dangerously close to allowing rich countries to harm the planet unless they can make up for it after the fact. promise to pay.
The message from the UN climate conference is clear: protect yourselves. Africa has listened and responded.
“It’s the African insurance industry saying let’s come together and try to solve this ourselves,” Calvin Massingham saidDirector of Risk and Resilience at FSD Africa, one of the partners behind the launch of the African Climate Risk Facility.
A group of 85 insurers in Africa created the fund, which is designed to provide protection against droughts, floods and tropical cyclones by providing climate risk insurance to African governments, humanitarian agencies, cities and non-governmental organizations.
To be clear, the idea is not to withhold its commitments to the Global North. It is important that rich nations are pressured to deliver on their word and that they are held to account for their failures. But at the same time taking matters into its own hands, Africa is helping to underline the difference between the West’s big words and their paltry action, while also making a bold statement: it is up to others to determine their own future. will not allow.
Above all, the mandate of the African Climate Risk Facility is to provide a domestically funded alternative to similar global initiatives such as the World Bank’s Global Risk Insurance Facility and the Global Shield Financing Facility. Such local options would essentially free disaster-affected Africa from the pain of simply soliciting and competing for climate finance from others. African effort builds on similar initiative caribbeanWhere the risk-pooling facility is in place since 2007.
At the same time, the African initiative shows how the continent recognizes that climate change is a borderless issue and that finding solutions requires borderless thinking.
Climate-sensitive Asia should take note. Asian countries – including Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Thailand and Nepal – are among those most at risk from climate change, according to the Bonn-based non-profit. germanwatch,
While exhorting rich countries to reduce their emissions and compensate for the damage caused by them, Asian countries must now also come together to create a self-sustaining, self-accountable mechanism that will give them resilience against climate damage. Could help develop and damage.
They can no longer wait for the West. Like Africa, they too must step forward to shape their own destiny.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.