Africa Hopes for a Fair and Just Climate Deal Instead of ‘Dead Aid’

VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe (IDN) - Just as climate change has been getting popular in development discourse over the past two decades, so has been climate financing, which refers to local, national or transnational funding, drawn from public, private and/or alternative sources.

Climate finance is critical to addressing climate change because large-scale investments are required to significantly reduce emissions (mitigation), and for adaptation (coping with adverse effects).

Several funding portfolios have been established with the major one on the scene being the Green Climate Fund (GCF) specifically established as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing country Parties. The funding portfolios run into billions of dollars.

But are the funds achieving the intended objective? African Development Bank (AfDB) representative in Zimbabwe, Mary Manneko Monyau, does not think so.

“Africa is shortchanged by the lack of sufficient climate financing. Much more needs to be done to increase Africa’s access to climate finance,” she said during her keynote address at the Fifth Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA V) in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from October 28-30, 2015.

With complicated processes involved to access climate financing, there are fears from the African group that the funds could be turning into another story of ‘Dead Aid’ for Africa – as described by Zambian economist, Dambisa Moyo’s analysis of development aid to Africa criticizing the approach which scarcely involves Africa’s officials on what to be done and ends up achieving very little.

“In recent years we have seen a plethora of these financing mechanisms but not benefiting much to Africa,” observed Dr. Joseph Kabyemera, Coordinator of the ClimDev Africa special Fund, an initiative of the African Development Bank.

Dr. Kabyemera believes Africa must harness its own home grown climate-financing initiatives instead of continuing to rely on foreign resources that may never materialize. Read more