2022 is Africa’s year to lead the world on climate change
The COP27 climate summit on African soil will be the continent’s chance to put the needs of vulnerable nations above the interests of rich countries.
Nowhere experiences the bitter injustice of climate change like Africa. Despite contributing almost none of the greenhouse gasses that drive the climate crisis, we suffer its most brutal consequences – from the drought gripping the East to the shrinking Lake Chad in the West, from the floods that have devastated South Sudan to the Mozambican communities still not recovered from Cyclone Idai two years on.
The recent international climate summit, COP26, made some progress. But those of us from Africa came away feeling it had been a conference led by the Global North and whose outcomes reflected the interests of the UK hosts. For all the celebratory rhetoric, rich countries failed to deliver on their 12-year-old promise to deliver $100 billion of climate finance to poor nations by 2020. There was little progress on creating a fund to deal with permanent losses and damages caused by climate change.
However, COP26 did lay the ground for 2022 to be the year that Africa changes this course. COP27 will be held on African soil and provides the opportunity for the continent to ensure that the needs of the climate vulnerable – rather than the interests of rich, polluting nations – are met. Egypt will welcome representatives from around the world at the end of 2022 and, as host, they have a crucial role in shaping the outcome and creating space for the correct priorities.
This can finally be time that rich nations cough up the lifesaving cash that is essential to help vulnerable communities adapt to a changing climate.
The COP27 climate summit on African soil will be the continent's chance to put the needs of vulnerable nations above the interests of rich countries. African climate protesters at COP26 in Glasgo
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