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The Africa Confidential Blog

  • 8th September 2022

Dutch summit warns on climate finance shortfall

Blue Lines

The poorly attended African Climate Adaptation summit in Rotterdam on 5 September doesn't augur well ahead of the UN COP27 climate change summit in Egypt in November. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans were among few western leaders to attend. Just €55 million in new commitments were offered and no other progress was made in hitting the meeting's funding target.

The promise from rich countries to jointly mobilise $100 billion a year by 2020 to finance climate adaptation and mitigation is far from being met. And the sense of frustration was apparent. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said that wealthy states risk creating 'another debt to Africa – one of solidarity and one of broken promises.'

Many worry that the summit in Sharm el Sheikh will see a rowing back on commitments on both financial and on carbon emissions reductions. That will encourage those African leaders who want to use the scramble for alternatives to Russian gas to exploit their own fossil fuel supplies. Timmermans gave short shrift to that idea, insisting that 'in the long run, the big opportunity for Africa will be to use this enormous potential of solar and wind, which will go way beyond Africa's own needs and put that energy into hydrogen or ammonia or other clean fuels.' But without political will and cash to back it up, such green energy plans simply won't take off.