Secretary-General, Mr Sindiso Ngwenya, has said time has come for Africa to realise that it has the capacity to mobilize resources within its economies to tackle effects of climate change instead of depending on the funding from co-operating partners who are also facing a lot of financial challenges especially because of the global recession.
“There is need for African countries to have well coordinated mechanisms to pool resources together because they are the most affected by the effects of climate change in the world despite contributing only about 4 percent of carbon emissions,” he said.
In a speech read for him by COMESA Climate Change Advisor, Dr Mclay Kanyangarara, during the official opening of a sub-regional workshop on strengthening national capacities to increase finance and investments into change adaptation and mitigation, Mr Ngwenya said that despite the fact that we only contribute a handful of carbon emissions, with most of the emissions coming from the western world, we still need to contribute towards the fight against the effects of climate change because we are the most affected by it.
“Our people in the farming communities in the rural areas are the most affected by the long spells of droughts, unpredictable weather patterns and many others and we shall not sit and watch our governments divert money meant for other developmental programmes to fight the effects of climate change,” he said.
Mr Ngwenya said COMESA, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East Africa Community (EAC) have the opportunity to mobilize the resources from within their economies that can be channeled into sustainable climate change mitigation.
He said that it was becoming more difficult to get resource from the western countries due to the challenges they are facing.
“We need a lot of resources to be able to adapt to climate change as well as mitigate the causes of climate change. Traditionally we have depended on the assistance from developed countries but these are now facing financial difficulties so depending solely on them is going to be problematic,” he said.
“The importance of this workshop is to show us how we can practically organize sustainable resources to be channeled into priority areas.”
Speaking at the same function, Global Mechanism Programme Coordinator Kwame Awere-Gyekye said African countries need new and additional finance mechanisms as major contributors to their development agenda.
“There are opportunities for us to also mobilize finance from non-traditional sources. With this in mind, we at the Global Mechanism have developed a number of financing instruments and mechanisms to guide resource mobilization for the implementation,” Mr Awere-Gyekye said.
He said the well known Integrated Financing Strategy (IFS) was appreciated by a number of stakeholders. “Within the IFS we have what we call innovative finance (or finance from non-traditional sources), which include climate related finance that is the subject of the workshop,” he said.
The theme of the workshop held in Chisamaba, Lusaka, was: “Opportunities from climate change financing mechanisms.”