Africa vulnerable to climate change: Comesa

BY PRECIOUS CHIDA

AFRICA is vulnerable to the effects of climate change and required to develop finance and technology skills, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) has said.

Speaking to NewsDay last Friday, Comesa climate change advisor Mclay Kanyangarara said Africa’s low adaptive capacity made it more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

He said this on the sidelines of a member States workshop on the implementation of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.

“Filling this gap requires support in the areas of technology, capacity development, skills and finance,” Kanyangarara said, underscoring the need for Africa to improve mobilisation of climate and green finance for sustainable development.

The workshop was held by Comesa in collaboration with the Africa Union Commission and the United Nations Development Programme’s regional service centre.

Its aim was to strengthen member States’ capacities to access and manage international climate finance as well as increasing awareness on the benefits of private sector engagement in climate actions; all in support of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which seek to reduce carbon emissions.

Kanyangarara said mobilisation of resources will benefit low carbon development including resilient infrastructure.

Harsen Nyambe Nyambe, head of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management at the African Union Commission noted: “There is not enough knowledge about what constitutes climate and green finance, and options for investments in climate change related portfolios and green section and in addition there is also need to increase awareness on the benefits of private sector engagement in climate actions.”

During the workshop, technical experts gave an overview of climate finance, NDC financing and the role of the private sector in climate financing.

Some of the complexities that where discussed include challenges associated with making bankable adaptation project proposals, cumbersome application processes and procedures, demanding fiduciary requirements and limited information about existing resources.

Climate change is an existential threat that is evidently affecting the African continent on a daily basis with most African countries witnessing increased extreme weather events that have resulted in loss of lives and property.

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