Africa needs climate action, says Guterres at Addis Ababa AU summit

UN Secretary-General calls on developed countries to provide a ‘tidal wave of support’ to Africa for helping a just energy transition on the Continent

By DTE Staff
Published: Sunday 19 February 2023
UN Photo\Daniel Getachew

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told leaders at the African Union’s annual summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa that Africa, the least affected by climate change, was bearing the brunt of climate change and needed climate action.

He urged developed countries to provide a ‘tidal wave of support’ to several African countries who ‘are demonstrating strong leadership on climate’.

“The brutal injustice of climate change is on full display with every flood, drought, famine and heatwave endured on this continent. The countries least responsible for this crisis are feeling its most devastating impacts,” said Guterres February 18, 2023.

The UN Secretary-General added that it was clear that the world must decarbonise. But the international community had to ensure that the transition to renewable energy was a just one, particularly in Africa, “where energy access and development challenges must be properly addressed”.

Such transition should include wider access to technologies like battery-storage systems, components and raw materials.

Guterres applauded a number of projects and countries for the efforts they were making on transiting to renewable energy.

“This includes Kenya’s green economy strategy, the effort to protect the tropical forests of the Congo, South Africa’s Just Transition Energy Partnership and the AU’s ambitious Green Stimulus Programme,” he said.

He also cited the upcoming Transboundary Battery and Electric Vehicle Value Chain Initiative hosted by the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

Guterres stated that he was encouraged by the leading role of the African Small Island States, on championing the Great Blue Wall Initiative.

But, developed countries must offer help on a large scale. They must deliver on the loss and damage fund agreed to at the last Conference of Parties to the United Nations Climate Convention on Climate Change in Sharm el Sheikh.

“They must deliver on doubling adaptation finance. They must deliver on replenishing the Green Climate Fund. And deliver on plans for early warning systems to protect every person in the world within five years — including the 6 in 10 Africans who lack these systems,” the secretary general added.

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