Statement by Mr. Abderrahmane RAOUYA, Minister of Finance of Algeria
The African continent is now being hit hard by the socio-economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict poses further challenges to African economies, even threatening the continent's food security. These constraints are in addition to the many inequalities that characterize Africa in terms of access to education and health services and the difficulties associated with the lack of access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services and heavy dependence on fossil fuels.
Climate change is another important challenge to the socio-economic development prospects of African countries. Our continent is among the most vulnerable to climate change.
While Africa contributes the least to global warming with a share of only 3.8% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions, the continent is experiencing the strongest effects of global warming.
A just energy transition in Africa is a necessity for the countries of the continent to have better access to clean and affordable energy and thus meet the challenges of sustainable development of the continent.
However, this would not be possible without innovative and sustainable solutions to meet Africa's growing financing needs.
For example, the additional financing needs for climate adaptation have been estimated by the IMF in 2020, between 30 and 50 billion USD per year for Sub-Saharan Africa alone.
At the same time, the African continent receives only a tiny fraction of the annual flows of financing for climate adaptation, estimated at an average of 23% for the years 2017 and 2018.
In relation to this issue, it is important that developed countries fulfill their commitments to provide the financial resources necessary to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. This follows from the very principles on which the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is based, including equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. These principles refer to a number of obligations that are central to developed countries. These include:
- Recognition of the vulnerability of developing countries to the adverse effects of climate change, which obliges them to undertake measures and actions to adapt to such constraints. These efforts must be recognized and provided with adequate technical support;
- Providing financial support to developing countries so that they can contribute to the global effort to raise awareness of the effects of climate change;
- Facilitating access to low-carbon technologies for developing countries and building the capacity of developing countries to participate in the global climate change awareness effort.
Thus, to help Africa face the climate challenges, concrete measures must be taken at the global level to allow a real transfer of technology and know-how to developing countries in general and African countries in particular, to help ensure an effective and rapid transition to a green economy and environmentally friendly.
The choice of holding the 2022 edition of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the theme "Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa" is relevant in more than one respect and reflects the importance attached by the Bank to finding appropriate responses to the challenges facing our continent in this area.
Indeed, the AfDB has confirmed for some time its leadership in the fight against climate change in Africa. Our continental financial institution is encouraged to deploy, in partnership with other development partners, more efforts to help African countries face the challenges of climate change, by putting in place pragmatic approaches aimed at ensuring a fairer and more sustainable energy transition and security and improving access to clean, affordable and reliable energy services.
Finally, it is important to emphasize the importance of adopting a flexible approach that promotes climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, without compromising the development process of African countries, which often depends on access to affordable energy. Indeed, fossil fuels will remain necessary for many African countries for the foreseeable future. The challenge is to promote economic growth while improving the environmental management framework.