Western nations have not done enough to help developing countries finance their transition to low-carbon economies, an African climate expert has warned.
Ousmane Fall Sarr, who works with West African Alliance on Carbon Markets and Climate Finance, said that the $100 billion target in annual climate financing that was pledged by developed countries since Cop15 has yet to be met.
He was speaking at a Chatham House panel on climate financing for Cop28 as part of the Africa Day Conference in Slovenia.
“Africa is among the regions most vulnerable to climate change. It's the countries with particularly low capacity to respond that will be disproportionately impacted by climate change”, he said at the event.
“This makes climate change mitigation a global imperative and Africa is part of the solution.”
He warned that lower and middle income countries will need an additional $100 billion annually by 2025 and close to $2 trillion dollars by 2030 to avert the worst effects of climate change.
“The energy sector alone will require something like $1 trillion of investment annually. So this is a very big amount of money that is required to address this issue,” he said.
To close the climate finance gap, African nations must “seek opportunities and leverage the global carbon market to monetise the value of the African ecosystem in storing and removing carbon", he added.
Carbon markets allow nations to offset their carbon emissions by buying and selling carbon credits.
He said fair carbon pricing could bring in significant financial flows that could help support its nationally-determined contributions, or actionable steps outlined by countries to help mitigate climate change.
He noted that the African Carbon Market Initiative has set out ambitious targets to produce 300 million carbon credits annually by 2030 and 1.5 billion credits annually by 2050.
This could unlock $6 billion in revenue by 2030 and more than $120 billion by 2050, supporting up to 100 million jobs in the same period, he said.
“Our expectation for Cop28 is to foster the process that is ongoing in Africa to make our countries more ready to tap in to these existing financing opportunities and implementing concrete actions on the ground.
“We also expect to have more concrete mechanisms for financing the energy transition for African countries.”