African ministers of finance, economy and environment, meeting in Cairo two months before the COP27 climate summit, have called for a dramatic increase in climate finance in opposition to a sharp phase-out of fossil fuels.
Oil and gas producer Egypt, considered highly vulnerable to climate change, is positioning itself as a champion of Africa’s interests and is preparing to host a summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in November, Arab News notes.
A communiqué released after a three-day forum in Cairo said that Africa received less than 5.5% of global climate finance despite a low carbon footprint and disproportionate suffering from climate change.
The document calls on rich countries to fulfill and expand their commitments to combat climate change. It was also stated that developing countries should be able to develop economically while receiving more funds to adapt to the effects of climate change.
The document underlines “the need to avoid approaches that encourage a sharp reduction in investment in fossil fuels, as this will jeopardize the development of Africa.”
The role of gas in the transition to cleaner energy sources will be a key issue at COP27. Climate change activists say gas must be phased out quickly and replaced with renewable energy.
Nigerian Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said gas is a matter of survival for her country: “If we don’t get funding at a reasonable price to develop gas, we will deprive our citizens of the opportunity to achieve basic development.”
The communiqué also called for a focus on climate change in reviewing development banks and international financial institutions.
The paper proposes the creation of a sustainable sovereign debt center that could reduce the cost of capital for developing countries and promote debt-environment swapping.