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African Countries Want Climate Fund To Be Based On Public Donations – Envoy

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Finland’s Ambassador for Climate Change, Jan Wahlberg has said that African countries want the proposed climate fund to be based on public donations with no repayment obligation.

Wahlberg noted that this option would help the countries from becoming even more burdened with debts on top of the challenges created by the weaker food security following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The envoy made the observation while speaking on outcomes of the going United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP27) in Egypt.

He said developing countries have been advocating for a loss and damage fund for decades. The fund was high on the agenda of the host country Egypt, too.

He also pointed out that while the COP27 has been criticised for its weak results, progress was nevertheless made to help the world’s poorest countries stricken by climate disasters, adding that future conferences of the parties will decide on the structure of the fund and its sources of finance.

“Climate change is a harsh reality, especially in Africa. We should bear in mind that Africa did not cause climate change, although it is worst hit by its adverse effects at the moment.

“Emissions from the African continent account for only about four per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, extreme weather conditions affect the everyday lives of people in many African countries through severe drought and extreme weather events.

In addition to climate change mitigation and phasing out of greenhouse gas emissions, we sorely need adaptation, too”, he said.

Wahlberg said the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh was mostly an African ‘adaptation COP’. A key outcome of the COP27, according to him, was the agreement to establish a loss and damage fund to help countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

The envoy stressed that it is important for Finland and for the European Union (EU) that emerging economies, such as China, participate in financing the loss and damage fund.

On his assessment of the outcomes of COP27, he observed that it was envisaged that issues resonating with damage and loss was going to be a very hard nut to crack at the global conference.

“We knew beforehand that a loss and damage fund would be one of the trickiest issues on the agenda that would eclipse the EU’s proposal for a more ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The EU and likeminded countries had to put all their persuasion skills to work to get the Conference to even reaffirm its commitment to limiting the global increase in temperatures to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius

“The work continues, and it is clear that Finland has what it takes to set an example and show others that ambitious climate measures are important. As Finland’s

Ambassador for Climate Change, I consider it important that COP talks advocate even for better inclusion and for preventing further loss of biodiversity”, he stressed.

Finland is part of a coalition of likeminded countries advocating for a global forest agenda. They met at the COP27 to discuss a roadmap for halting biodiversity loss.

At last year’s Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, developed countries pledged to double their public finance for climate adaptation by developing countries by 2025.

To this end, a Champions Group on Adaptation Finance was founded, and Finland has been actively involved in the group together with other frontrunner countries.
The group wants to double adaptation finance and improve its effectiveness.

Finland has significantly increased its international climate finance in recent years. In 2021, Finland’s contribution amounted to EUR 175 million. She is contributing to adaptation finance through multilateral environmental and climate funds, bilateral development cooperation and institutional cooperation.


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