Africa’s gains and losses at Bonn Climate Conference and the G7 Summit.

The first half of this month has been an eventful one for Africa’s climate agenda, with the Bonn Climate Conference and G7 Summit happening. At the Bonn Climate Conference 2024, Africa’s primary focus was on advancing climate finance to address its significant financial needs for climate adaptation and mitigation. Despite the continent receiving only 12% of the required US$ 2.4 trillion annually, African negotiators aim was to enhance climate finance flows and improve the financial architecture, including tools like debt-for-climate swaps and green bonds (Simango, 2024). Additionally, African representatives needed to push for the continent to be granted special needs and circumstances status and seeking to make further improvements on the Lost and Damage Fund, recognizing the continent’s unique challenges and fostering international cooperation to meet developmental and climate goals (Carbon Brief, 2024).

Bonn Climate Conference

Climate finance was at the top of the agenda for Africa, with representatives hoping to make further progress on commitments made at COP28, however there was no agreed upon on the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) which would help establish a new climate finance target and mechanism. This is largely due to the divide between developed and developing nations with developing nations wanting climate finance contributors to be expanding to include developing nations and countries currently not meeting their required contributions. Developing nations on the other had believe that contributions are currently too low for them to reach their climate action goals, with the Africa Group wanting US$ 1.3 trillion per annum to be quantum.  However, there was some positives regarding the Lost and Damage Fund (LDF), with discussions highlighting the need for better collaboration, improved mechanisms that are inline with nation’s development goals and faster capitalisation of funds. The discussions helped set up potential stakeholder engagement and dialogues for COP29 that will help further address issues and targets regarding the LDF.

G7 Summit

African representatives at the G7 Summit were focused on the extending of commitments to initiatives like the Alliance for Green Infrastructure Africa (AGIA), aimed at boosting financing for green infrastructure projects. Their agenda included the need to negotiate enhanced climate finance commitments to support adaptation and mitigation efforts without increasing debt, aligning with Sustainable Development Goal 13. This is part of avoiding “Green Imperialism,” ensuring renewable energy projects benefit Africa and maintain a positive impact for the continent and its people. Additionally, they emphasised the need for international collaboration on technical assistance and capacity building to increase the continent’s renewable energy capacity, currently at only 1%.

With the G7 President highlighting the importance of partnership with Africa, especially on key issues such as climate action, the summit also saw the launch of the Energy for Growth in Africa initiative. It aims for G7 members to make further commitments to Africa’s sustainable and economic development through climate driven initiatives that boost clean energy access and increase public-private sector collaboration amongst African stakeholders and international partners. In addition, there were further commitments made to increasing funds for initiatives like the AGIA. Statements were made that emphasised the need to restructure the global financial architecture so that it becomes more equitable to regions like Africa so that the trade off between development and climate action is reduced. These statements, however did not adequately disclose how such a commitment would be executed, leaving questions of uncertainty.

Conclusion

Given the momentum that was established at COP28 regarding commitments to climate finance, there has been an underwhelming atmosphere left behind from the overall outcomes of the Bonn Climate Conference and G7 Summit. Despite some positive gains, there has been more promises and repetitive rhetoric than milestones made, which is something Africa cannot afford more of going forward. The impacts of climate change are being felt all overall and if the continent is to address these issues there needs to be more concrete achievements made for its climate agenda, especially when it comes to climate finance. These next few months leading to COP29 will be even more important for Africa and its bid to make progress on its climate finance needs.

Author: Kennedy Simango

Research Analyst

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