Experts have called on African countries to promote climate change adaptation and invest in food and energy sovereignty if the continent is to properly respond to climate change and accelerate development.
Addressing a team of journalists undergoing climate change training reporting in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday, African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change chairperson Ephraim Shitima called on African countries to adapt to effects of climate change.
He urged countries to develop adaptation plans, especially for the long-term, saying currently only less than 20 African countries have finished and submitted their adaptation plans.
“The adaptation plans help in pushing for funding for climate change activities.These are the vehicles that we use in terms of mobilising resources for implementation. We need to have the plans in place,” said Shitima.
He added that African countries also need to push for the operationalisation of the climate change loss and damage fund.
“We cannot get loans for climate financing. It has to be in form of grants,” said Shitima, further urging that countries need to promote agriculture production to achieve food security.
Power Shift Africa programmes manager Fatuma Hussein said countries need to include adaptation plans in their development strategies.
She further called on African countries to have national adaptation plans, saying countries with adaptation plans stand a better chance to tap financing from various windows.
Said Hussein: “A country will access $3 million from the Green Climate Fund to plan for adaptation but can also access up to $50 million to implement activities.
“A country can access $20 million from the Climate Adaptation Fund. The least developed countries can also access unlimited funding from the Least Development Fund.”
Stockholm Environment Institute Africa director Phillip Osano said African countries need to promote homegrown solutions developed by African scientists in addressing climate change issues.