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NEWS: Africa expresses concerns over $100 billion climate fund

Arison Tamfu, member of the Pan-African Media Alliance for Climate Change (PAMACC) team in Lima reports on Africa’s stance around the climate fund.

Developed countries have committed to mobilising $100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020 to support climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries but the African Group at the UN Climate change talks in Lima is concerned that the pledge is far below expectations, affirming that the figure can only be considered a baseline for climate action.

“Recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund are a small first step, but funding around $2.4 billion per year is not close to the actual need, and is a far cry from the $100 billion pledged for 2020. Lima should provide a clear roadmap for how finance contributions will increase step-by-step to 2020″ said Seyni Nafo, African Group spokesperson.

The money is expected to come from a wide variety of sources and depends on meaningful mitigation action and transparency on implementation by developing countries. It is intended to bridge differences between richer and poorer states that hobbled prior talks. African Group at the Lima conference has made it clear though the money is important, Africa is more interested in limiting the impacts of climate change `Our aim is not the hundred billion dollars. The goal is limiting warming to 1.5oC or 2oC. However, note that most of the studies agree that the money to achieve this below 2oC should not be less than 600 billion per year. For now, the $100 billion is the starting point` said Mohammed Nasr, Head of the African Group on Finance.

The U.S has confirmed its commitment to raising the money on time. `It’s very much in the realm of the possible to reach the $100 billion target,” Todd Stern, the U.S. State Department official in charge of climate, told reporters at COP20. “We are certainly on the way,” he added.Stern also predicted President Barack Obama would win Congress’ approval for $3 billion he pledged last month to the international Green Climate Fund. The money, like much of Obama’s climate agenda, has drawn opposition from Republicans who will take control of Congress in January.

Obama will request the $3 billion, to be spread over four years, in his budget proposal next year, Stern said.  Nagmeldin El Hassan, Chair of the African Group reaffirmed assertions by the African Union Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) that a fair agreement in Paris for Africa is one that includes all of the pillars of the Durban mandate, not merely mitigation. Rev Thomas Jalla of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) stressed that finance, technology and capacity building should not be seen as peripheral to the agreement just because it may be inconvenient to some developed countries.

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