Scale up private capital aligned to SDGs, Paris Agreement: French minister Chrysoula Zacharopoulou

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French minister Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, in her address to the media at the Africa Climate Week, emphasised the need to scale up private capital aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.

She said there is a need to maintain the strong political momentum for climate action and global financial system reform.

“Africa is at the heart of the solution to today’s global challenges, particularly climate change. The impressive deployment of renewable energy here in Kenya is a perfect example of the continent’s potential. France, and the European Union, are committed to building a strong partnership with the African continent to tackle our common challenges together.

“We worked together to promote vaccine solidarity during the COVID pandemic. We worked together to reallocate IMF special drawing rights towards vulnerable countries. We worked together for the creation of a loss and damage fund at COP27. And today, besides President Ruto, leaders from the African Union, and President Ursula Von der Leyen, we have reaffirmed our determination to work together to tackle climate change; and to promote a fair; global green transition,” Zacharopoulou said.

She bemoaned the huge climate injustice facing African countries that are the least responsible but the most vulnerable to the phenomenon.

“Yesterday, along with Ban Ki Moon and my Danish colleague Dan Jorgensen, we visited the Mukuru people’s adaptation plan here in Kenya, which is supported by the Global Center on Adaptation. It was a perfect example of what we want to achieve: local solutions with international support. Indeed, we know that potential and solutions are not enough. We will not tackle climate change if we do not improve financial solidarity.

“Climate action requires climate finance. Promises were made, and they must be fulfilled. In the European Union, we do more than our fair share, by spending 23 billion euros a year for climate finance. In France, we firmly believe in the idea of “leading by example”. That is why we have delivered on SDR rechannelling, with 40% of French SDRs recycled towards vulnerable countries. We have delivered on climate finance, with 6 billion euros per year for our partners, including 2 billion for adaptation. We have delivered on official development assistance, with a 50% increase since President Macron took office. We have delivered on debt treatment, by coordinating creditors within the Paris Club. We need all countries to take their part in this collective effort. But beyond financial commitments, we know that this problem requires deep, structural changes,” she added.

On his part, US Special Presidential Envoy, John Kerry said to combat the climate change crisis, early and effective adaptation is required.

He said President Joe Biden launched PREPARE, to help half a billion people in developing countries, especially in Africa, adapt
to the worst impacts of this crisis in this decade.

“President Biden wants to work alongside African nations to lead the way in adapting to and managing the impacts of climate change. That’s why as part of PREPARE, he’s committed to working with Congress to provide $3 billion annually for adaptation by 2024, the largest commitment in U.S. history. And it is why we are working with partners on the  Transitional Committee this year to design an effective fund to help vulnerable developing countries respond to loss and damage.

“As part of implementing PREPARE, I’m pleased to announce the US’ intent to provide an additional $30 million to accelerate climate-resilient food security efforts across Africa. First, we will provide $20 million to the Africa Adaptation Initiative for the Food Security Accelerator, which will invest in African agricultural businesses and help them create their own independent and climate-resilient supply chains.

“Second, $10 million will go to the Climate Resilience and Adaptation Finance and Technology Transfer Facility to scale technologies advancing adaptation like cold chain storage, which helps maintain the quality and safety of food from the farm all the way into peoples’ homes. Africa has taken on the worst of this crisis, but through PREPARE, the United States is here to help Africa adapt to climate impacts,” Kerry added.