With the adoption of a Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGES), Ethiopia has made exemplary climate change adaptation moves over the last decade.
However, the national programme now faces the challenge of lack of global climate financing.
The country says it needs $157 billion (Ksh19 trillion) to implement its long-term low emissions development strategies (LT-LEDS).
Ethiopia’s climate financing challenges were brought to light by the country’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) experts at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
According to the experts, though Ethiopia is currently facing the worst impacts of climate change in the last 40 years, the support from “development partners” was negligible in relation to climate change financing.
International Environmental Agreements Negotiations Director with EPA, Mensur Dese said impacts of climate change, including recurrent droughts, flash floods and erratic rains have increased drastically over the last four decades in Ethiopia due to the ever changing climate.
The experts, who presented Ethiopia’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP), further elaborated that lowland areas of the country – Somalia, Oromia, South and Southwest regional states – have been severely affected due to the human-induced challenge.
According to the experts’ report, 8.1 million people were affected by the drought this year, over 2.1 million cattle died and 22 million are still at risk, and the situation in Eastern Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular calls for immediate global climate financing response.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, noting the unfulfilled promises of the developed countries in tackling climate change impacts, said, “It is past time to address the growing financial and technological needs. Pledges must be translated into new resources and support. The time to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis is running out. We must now scale up our efforts.”
“Increased funding must reflect the magnitude of Africa’s challenge. Countries must honour their climate pledges, provide the necessary financing, and address the outstanding issues of loss and damage and the carbon trading mechanism in ways that allow for faster results.”
Mr Abiy said Africa is the most vulnerable to climate change while it accounts for less than five per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and approximately 17 per cent of total global population.
Nevertheless, he added, the continent receives less than five per cent of the world’s climate fund, which is mainly in debt.
Developed countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and Australia acknowledged that there is currently a funding gap in addressing loss and damage, at an informal consultation on loss and damage finance during COP27.
As part of COP negotiations, developed countries pledged to provide $100 billion (Ksh12.2 trillion) in climate finance to developing countries by 2020. However, they are yet to fulfill the commitment.
With the announcement of $150 million (Ksh18.3 billion) donation for Africa’s adaptation to climate change by US and Egypt last week, it seems that the appeal is being fulfilled.
However, the global financial requirement is huge as the impact of climate change is rapidly increasing.
To this end, a United Nations-backed report presented at COP27 reveals that developing and emerging countries, excluding China, need investments well beyond $2 trillion (Ksh244 trillion) annually by 2030 if the world is to stop the global warming juggernaut and cope with its effects.
One of the lead authors of the report, Nicholas Stern, confirms that rich countries should recognise that it is in their self-interest as well as a matter of justice, given the severe impacts caused by their high levels of current and past emissions, to invest in climate action in emerging markets and developing countries.
Mr Abbas Mohamed, Chief Executive Officer of Economic Analysis and Policy at Ethiopia’s Ministry of Planning and Development, in his brief to donor countries and development partners in Sharm El-Sheikh, solicited for the support of development partners to help the country implement its plan.
He told participants that the country envisages an average of 9.1 per cent economic growth in 30 years when the plan is implemented and 85.3 million jobs will be created due to the green economy the country is going to realise.