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“West Should Pay for Pollution” – African Leaders

FILE – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the 76th UNGA Session via video link, September 23, 2021

Analysts observing the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly say they expect African countries to prioritize climate change and use UNGA to call upon rich nations who are also the biggest polluters, to aid poorer nations in addressing challenges posed by global warming.

VOA’s Carol Van Damn spoke to expert, Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa for insight on African leaders prioritizing climate change at the 77th session of UNGA.

The interview was edited for brevity and clarity.

VOA: What do you expect to hear from African leaders who will be addressing the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly?

Musiitwa: I hear a lot of African leaders saying how can developed countries around the world stand true to their commitments, so I expect to see a show me the money kind of attitude from African leaders.

Another aspect of the climate conversation I expect to hear at UNGA and COP27 is about adaptation and trying to garner increased investments in those regards.

Lastly, I expect to hear African leaders calling for multi-sectoral partnerships which will call upon the private sector to aid nations in achieving climate targets.

VOA: How do you see the scenario of the private sector partnering with governments to boost the continent’s economy in the face of climate change playing out?

Musiitwa: I think we will see the financial sector making greater commitments through a range of platforms, which will also show how the sector is thoughtful about their clients and the environment, while making it easier for locals to access greener technologies.

An example of that is Nedbank in South Africa who have financing for solar equipment, which means locals can get low-cost loans to access solar panels for their homes.

There is also a case of a partnership of the African Development Bank and the Bank of America that is focused on climate initiatives on the continent.

VOA: Do rich nations have an obligation to pay for losses and damages in places like the Horn of Africa where we are witnessing the drastic effects of climate change?

Musiitwa: I think a lot is in the process of being done.

In the U.S. a lot is being done through USAID and the likes, so I think there is some assistance going towards losses and damages in different ways, but I don’t think it is always packaged as losses and damages.

Having said that, I think from an African perspective, I think there will be a need for clarity on the types of assistance coming in

Africa Must Prioritize Climate Change at UNGA – Analysis
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