- President Samia Suluhu Hassan highlighted the need for international commitment to climate agreements and innovative financing, including a $700 million green bond initiative for adaptation and mitigation strategies while representing Tanzania at COP28.
- Through the African Group of Negotiators, African nations pushed for a just energy transition and increased climate financing, advocating for the right to use fossil fuels for development before transitioning to renewable energy sources.
- Global leaders recognized Africa’s climate adaptation needs, with significant pledges such as the UK’s GBP 1.5 billion commitment for adaptation in Africa by 2025 and the African Development Bank Group’s initiative to mobilize $14 billion for low-income African countries.
Tanzania at COP28
Tanzanian President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan played a pivotal role at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, where she emphasized the critical need for the international community to fulfil unmet commitments related to climate change. Her speech brought to the fore the urgency of acting on promises made in key global agreements, such as the Copenhagen and Paris Agreements, underscoring the dire need for substantial and effective financing for climate restoration and adaptation efforts.
For Tanzania, President Samia highlighted the disproportionate impact of climate change on developing countries, including Tanzania. She pointed out that climate change had significantly reduced Tanzania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), demonstrating the tangible economic repercussions of the global climate crisis. Her remarks at the summit served as a stark reminder that the effects of climate change are not just environmental but also have profound economic and social consequences.
In her address, President Samia advocated establishing global goals focused on adaptation. This call for action underscored the importance of developing and implementing strategies that would enable countries, especially those in the developing world, to better adapt to the changing climate. Given the escalating climate crisis, she stressed that adaptation measures are not a matter of choice but of urgency.
In addition, she announced a groundbreaking initiative in collaboration with the Global Center for Adaptation. This initiative, under the framework of the African Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAA-P), aims to formalize partnerships to bolster climate adaptation efforts in Tanzania. A key feature of this initiative is the mobilization of $700 million through green bonds issued by two Tanzanian commercial banks. This substantial financial undertaking represents a novel approach to generating funds for the nation’s climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.
President Hassan affirmed through this initiative: “In Tanzania, we are showing how to generate funds for adaptation and mitigation.” This statement reflects Tanzania’s commitment to leading by example in the global fight against climate change, showcasing innovative and practical solutions to mobilize necessary resources for climate adaptation. The approach taken by Tanzania could serve as a model for other nations seeking to harness financial tools to address the pressing issue of climate change adaptation.
Under President Samia’s leadership, Tanzania’s participation at COP28 was marked by a clear and strong message: the world must act now to meet its climate commitments, especially in supporting developing nations like Tanzania disproportionately affected by climate change. The focus on adaptation, clean energy, and the need for accessible financing reflects a broader understanding of the multifaceted nature of the climate crisis and the diverse approaches needed to address it effectively.
Tanzania’s participation in COP28 highlighted the pressing need for global action on climate change, emphasizing the importance of fulfilling promises made in international agreements, advocating for adaptation strategies, and calling for accessible financing for developing countries. Her leadership at the summit underscored Tanzania’s commitment to addressing the challenges of climate change and set a precedent for proactive engagement in global climate discussions.
The involvement of the Global Center for Adaptation in this endeavour is crucial, as it brings technical expertise and global knowledge to the partnership. The session, moderated by Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center for Adaptation, provided a platform for discussing this pioneering approach and its potential implications for climate action in Africa and beyond.
Africa at COP28
African nations collectively aimed to establish themselves as equal stakeholders in climate negotiations, a forum often dominated by wealthier, Western industrialized nations. This concerted effort was led by the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), chaired by Zambia, advocating for a just energy transition and a significant increase in climate change finance, particularly in adaptation funding. The African stance at COP28 was focused on addressing the unique challenges and responsibilities faced by the continent in the global climate crisis.
A central aspect of the African position was the debate over the use of fossil fuels versus a swift transition to renewable energy. While some advocated for an immediate shift to renewables, others pointed out the stark reality of insufficient investment in renewable energy infrastructure across Africa. In this context, natural gas was viewed as a necessary transitional fuel. This position reflects the continent’s pragmatic approach to balancing developmental needs with environmental concerns.
The contention also emphasizes Africa’s right to a just transition, considering the historical context of industrialization and energy use in developed countries. The argument centres on allowing African countries the opportunity to utilize their fossil fuel resources to foster development and improve access to energy for the millions lacking it before transitioning to greener energy sources. This stance is aligned with the UNFCCC principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), acknowledging the varying historical contributions of countries to climate change.
Today, African nations have been actively pushing for the realization of previous international pledges, notably the commitment to provide $100 billion annually for climate financing, a target that has not been fully met. This demand underscores the need for developed countries to support African nations in building infrastructure and implementing measures for adapting to climate change.
The global response to Africa’s climate adaptation needs was evident. Notably, the African Development Bank Group announced the operationalization of the Climate Action Window, aimed at mobilizing up to $14 billion for adaptation efforts in 37 low-income African countries. This initiative is intended to support a range of climate-resilient strategies, including agricultural technologies, weather insurance for farmers, rehabilitation of degraded lands, and the provision of renewable energy.
Commitments from global leaders further reinforced the stance of African nations. The UK pledged to spend GBP 1.5 billion on adaptation efforts in Africa by 2025, highlighting a significant investment in the continent’s climate resilience. Additionally, the Dutch Prime Minister emphasized the need for increased efforts on adaptation finance, signalling a recognition of the critical role of financial support in addressing Africa’s climate challenges.
The participation of Tanzania, alongside other African nations, at COP28 marked a significant stride in the global effort to address climate change. The summit became a platform for these countries to advocate for climate justice and equitable financing, highlighting the urgency of addressing the severe impacts of climate change on the African continent.
In summary, the collective stance of African nations at COP28 was characterized by strong advocacy for a just energy transition, increased climate finance, and the acknowledgement of differentiated responsibilities in the global climate crisis. Africa’s unified stance emphasizing fulfilling previous international commitments, particularly those related to climate financing, was critical. The continent’s need for financial support in its fight against climate change has been long-standing and, until now, inadequately met. The advocacy for a just energy transition was central to the discussions. African nations need a fair and practical approach towards transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, considering the continent’s unique developmental and infrastructural challenges.