Addis Ababa ( Ethiopia Today) January 28, 2023 :- “Transition to Green Energy Must Be Sensible, Pragmatic, and Rational,” says Afreximbank’s Rene Awambeng in an event dubbed “Invest in African Energy Reception” that kicked off in London.
In its opening address delivered by Rene Awambeng, Global Head of Client Relations at the African Export-Import Bank – a partner of the event has provided insight into what the institution’s recommendations are regarding Africa’s climate agenda.
Awambeng emphasized that Africa only accounts for less than 3% of global emissions, and therefore should be recognized as not the cause of excessive carbon, but rather, the victims of climate change. At the same time, considering the many oil-dependent economies in Africa, with GDP measuring as high as 25% for some, the continent should be able to establish a sensible plan for a just and fair transition.
“We must use this opportunity to promote an approach to reducing global carbon emissions while sustaining current livelihoods which Africa is championing. The transition to green energy must be sensible, pragmatic and rational. It must recognize the enormity of the continent’s unmet economic development aspirations, the necessity to take urgent actions to address its ever-widening development gap and the continent’s vulnerability to climate change,” Awambeng stated.
Supporting the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to reduce emissions associated with shipping, moving away from exporting raw minerals that support the green economy and scaling up domestic value chains; enhancing foreign capital to finance the just transition and establishing African-based financing mechanisms to support industry growth are the Key aspects Awambeng detailed in a strategy towards a just and inclusive transition.
Meanwhile, Awambeng emphasized the need to take urgent action to address the development gap in Africa and the continent’s vulnerability to climate change. In addition to energy investment, focus needs to be placed on climate investment, with the continent requiring up to 277 billion USD per annum to combat climate change.
Currently Africa is receiving less than 28 billion USD from the required funds, Awambeng urged the developed world to honor its commitments to climate financing and incentivized African stakeholders to create their own mechanisms and instruments to honor such commitments.
“Afreximbank is supporting the promotion of a number of such innovative instruments and programs that can catalyze global finance and help close the funding gap for the necessary climate action while not sacrificing the development priorities of the continent.
In closing, Awambeng reiterated the need for a just transition in Africa, one that prioritizes carbon emission reduction and economic growth, simultaneously.