COP27 in Egypt is currently underway in Sharm-el-Sheik under the theme: Delivering for people and the planet.
Africa is not holding its breath waiting for funding from the latest power games showcase COP27 in Egypt, held at the exclusive Egyptian resort town between the Sinai Peninsula desert and the Red Sea. The resort town is known for its clear waters, sheltered sandy beaches and coral reefs.
For decades, Africa has been experiencing worsening climate change effects and this year it is no different. Despite the event being held in Africa, it is not clear how the continent will benefit from the high-level event that attracts the creme-de-la-creme of the world’s leadership and globalists. The evidence is clear for anyone who cares to see. Whether by design or accident, holding this annual meet that is losing its lustre every consecutive year proves that it is an event for the deep-pocketed and the COP27 agenda may be lost in all the shine.
According to the COP27 in Egypt website, COP27 Egypt participants will be accommodated in the green city of Sharm El-Sheikh marking the 30th anniversary since the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Many African delegates and journalists were unable to attend COP27 in Egypt due to the prohibitive accommodation costs despite the COP27 agenda being important to Africa. This means that the voices that matter continue to be silenced year-in-year-out. But, to show that the event is worth its salt, promises have once again been made in a carrot-and-stick manner that the West has perfected so well.
Kenya, UK to fast-track six US$400 million climate finance projects
On the first day of COP27 in Egypt, Kenya and her former coloniser announced that they will fast-track six projects worth Ksh500 billion (US$400 million).
The funding is meant to accelerate the flow of climate finance into the East African nation after Kenya’s President William Ruto and the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met at the COP27 in Egypt.
These new, clean and green investments will become flagship projects of the Kenya-UK Strategic Partnership which is an ambitious five-year agreement that is unlocking mutual benefits for Kenya and the UK.
The projects announced at the COP27 in Egypt include new geothermal and solar energy generation at Menengai and Malindi; a Ksh 425 billion Public Private Partnership to deliver the Grand High Falls Dam, which will generate a gigawatt of renewable power and provide an area over twice the size of the Maasai Mara with drought-combating irrigation solutions; the green regeneration of central Nairobi anchored around a new central rail station; and a Ksh 32 billion investment in a climate-resilient agriculture hub for the Lake Victoria region in Kisumu that will create 2,000 direct jobs and provide an income for a further 20,000 farmers.
This comes on the backdrop of UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announcing a significant increase in the UK’s financial support to African countries on the frontline of climate change at the COP27 in Egypt.
Speaking alongside African leaders at a COP27 side event, Cleverly confirmed that the UK will provide £200 million to the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Climate Action Window (CAW).
The CAW, announced at COP27 in Egypt, is a new mechanism set up to channel climate finance to help vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change, from severe drought in the Horn of Africa to floods in South Sudan.
Cleverly said that climate change is having a devastating impact on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa facing drought and extreme weather patterns, which have historically received a tiny proportion of climate finance. At the COP27 in Egypt, he added that the new mechanism from the AfDB will see vital funds delivered to those most affected by the impacts of climate change, much more quickly.
Lack of access to climate finance for the world’s poorest countries was a central focus at COP26 in Glasgow. This £200 million of UK funding is helping us to make tangible progress in addressing this issue.
AfDB President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina welcomed the additional funding from the United Kingdom saying the capitalization of the Climate Action Window of the AfDB seeks to raise more financing to support vulnerable low-income African countries that are most affected by climate change.
Speaking on the first day of COP27 in Egypt, Dr. Adesina said the funding would strengthen collective efforts to build climate resilience for African countries which are suffering from increasing frequencies of droughts, floods and cyclones that are devastating economies in Africa.
The Glasgow Climate Pact included a commitment from donors to double adaptation finance in 2025 from 2019 levels. Earlier, Sunak announced that the UK will surpass that target and triple adaptation funding from £500 million in 2019 to £1.5 billion in 2025. The funding package provided to AfDB will be part of this commitment.
The Netherlands has also announced that it will contribute to the CAW alongside the UK funding. The Foreign Secretary has called on other countries to contribute over the coming months.
Sunak also confirmed during the COP27 in Egypt that the UK is delivering the target of spending £11.6 billion on International Climate Finance (ICF) alongside the new and expanded solar and geothermal power plants in Kenya, Nairobi’s ground-breaking Railway City and a major public-private partnership on the Grand Falls Dam hydropower project – including a US$3 billion investment led by UK firm GBM Engineering.
Cleverly announced a series of UK investments worth more than £100 million to support developing economies to respond to climate-related disasters and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Despite these flowery promises, however, Africa is not optimistic that the West will deliver on the pledges after COP27 in Egypt.
As evidenced by complaints that representatives from developing countries were deliberately locked out of the exorbitant Sharm hosting COP27 in Egypt by prohibitive accommodation costs. delegates who managed to attend decided to introduce the loss and damage financing on the agenda, but as usual, Africa’s special needs and circumstances were relegated to footnotes.
This recognition was a promise by the COP21 president in 2015. Why Africa keeps settling for promises without a clear understanding of how they will be met still remains a mystery. In Copenhagen, Hillary Clinton made a bold promise of US$100billion which was applauded but there was no clarity on how it would be delivered.
Since 2019, developing countries are still asking for this money from rich nations despite the financial needs rising to trillions of dollars.
As it is, adaptation finance remains a cat-and-mouse chase despite African leaders religiously attending the lethargy-inducing COPs year after year. The promises by the UK during COP27 in Egypt are unexciting since they are late and unless the funding has been put to use in Africa, there’s nothing to smile about.