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  • Rovindu Ambagolla

Triple Bottom Tuesdays >>> Africa and their Fight Against Global Warming

Picture Credit: Matthew Essman

COP26, the United Nation’s annual climate change conference is set to take place in Glasgow between the 31st of October and the 12th of November. In this meeting of world leaders, they will discuss potential solutions to challenges that need to be overcome when battling climate change. In these meetings, discussions will take place about ambitious emission reductions, how to restore damaged ecosystems and how funding should be mobilised to meet the sustainability goals at the allocated time frames. However, it is also equally important to discuss how different regions of the world have responded to the urgency of climate change.

Africa has been affected by global warming in a multitude of ways. Global warming has sparked wildfires which has engulfed entire fields in flames, caused numerous floods which destroyed thousands of homes, created droughts which spanned across East Africa and has even fueled conflicts between states over scarce resources. As we can see through the devastating effects global warming has had on Africa, it is imperative that we do not misunderstand its effects and just dismiss it as “the world getting a little bit warmer”.

However, countries in Africa have been working meticulously to try and shift investments to combat climate change in the region as much as possible. Many countries in Africa are getting ready to attract “Green Finance”. This is a form of financing where investments are made in companies that encourage and provide sustainable and environmentally friendly products.

South Africa will be receiving a delegation from the US, UK, France and Germany to open discussions about funding for the gradual closure of coal power plants. The Green Climate Fund, which is a fund created under UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is also actively working on driving down the cost of green energy and helping with the investment in solar and wind power.

Picture credit: power technology website

Gabon, a small country in central Africa has recently issued a new law that will allow it to trade carbon credits which are generated from preserving its forests. And a Kenyan geothermal powerplant plans to sell the carbon credits that they have accumulated over the past 18 months.

Africa is booming with opportunity for green financing to thrive. The Congo Basin is the second largest rainforest in the world and spans across Africa with almost 500 million acres of forest. Using carbon credits generated from this immaculate rainforest would not just help protect the rainforest, but also monetise it to help raise funds for even more sustainable development projects which are required to hit the net zero emissions goal by 2050. It goes to show how nature and technology can go hand in hand to help us reduce the effects of climate change.

- Congo Basin Picture credit: World Wildlife Fund website

This is just a few examples of how much Africa can flourish through green finance, and just how important the region is to help us win the battle against climate change.

September 28th 2021 | 10.30 AM

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