New York, 7 July 2022 (ECA)- United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Vera Songwe, has briefed Permanent Representatives (PRs) of African Member States in New York on some key undertakings of the Commission in support of the financing and sustainable development needs of African countries.
Ms. Songwe said the meeting, held on 7 July, was an opportunity to provide an update on all the work the ECA has been doing with the African Union and Egypt’s COP 27 Presidency, regarding climate change at large and specific issues such as a Just Energy Transition and what that means for Africa. She also highlighted that "Africa is in need of more liquidity and Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) will allow Africa to go from $33.6 billion to $67 billion" and that Africa can also generate additional liquidity through carbon pricing.
The ECA Chief and her team of experts updated the PRs on the Kigali Declaration - the outcome of the Eighth African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development - which comprises the priorities, policy options, and recommendations for Africa to accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 at multiple levels.
Included in the Kigali Declaration was a call for the UN, African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and other partners to strengthen the capacity of African countries to leverage the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility and other innovative financing mechanisms. Nassim Oulmane, who heads the Green Economy Section at the ECA, underscored the need for “immediate multi-level interventions on finance, including reforms to the international financial architecture to integrate innovation financing mechanisms initiated by African countries.”
In his presentation titled “The Road to COP27: Highlighting Africa’s Priorities,” ECA’s Director of Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, Jean-Paul Adam, explained how ECA is partnering with the incoming Egypt presidency of COP27 to coordinate potential outcomes from COP27. These outcomes include a clear just energy framework and financial support.
In terms of financial mechanisms, the focus is on seeking a mechanism to allow urgent financing for Loss and Damage due to climate related disasters; delivery on the commitment of the promised 100 billion USD and a renewed commitment for a renewed finance target from 2025; upscale financing on adaptation and operationalize of the article 6 provisions on global carbon pricing and also providing capacity development for African countries to be able to access voluntary carbon markets; development of innovative financial mechanisms which improve the ability of African countries to access financial markets and private sector financial flows to invest in climate resilience, through access to green bond instruments, for example.
Mr Adam deplored the fact that “Africa receives less than 1% of green bond issuances in distinction to the number of green bonds being issued, which are increasing year-on-year.”
Representatives were also given the chance to pose questions and provide their input regarding the presentations. Permanent Representative of Zambia Chola Milambo highlighted the matter of carbon credits, which he noted as a great opportunity for Africa given the abundance of vegetation in many countries. However, Mr. Milambo pointed out the need for mechanisms to be put in place to scale up these markets and to ensure that carbon prices remain attractive in the long-term.
In concluding the session, Vera Songwe urged members of the African Group to attend the meetings leading up to COP 27 and expressed the ECA's availability to continue the briefings as often as the Africa Group would like.
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