Partners call for ambitious climate agreement for Africa

Climate ChangeFinance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from CFA franc ECOWAS member-states and the CEMAC bloc (Economic Community of West African States and Central African Economic and Monetary Community), have called for rigorous efforts towards environmental challenges and development funding viabilities for climate change.

This is a prelude to the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), the first round table debate focused on climate change and the issues facing CFA franc zone member-states in Bamako on Thursday and made available to the GNA.

The participants agreed on the need for African countries to place greater impetus on climate funding and agreements for Africa.

According to Mr Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, Africa received just five percent of the total climate funding in 2014.

He said facilitating access to the climate investment fund as well as new mechanisms in the Green Climate Fund was crucial for combating the menace.

Mr Janvier Litse, Acting Vice-President for Country and Regional Programmes and Policy of the African Development Bank (AfDB) said the bank would continue to contribute to combating the effects of climate change on the continent.

He said this had culminated into the launch of AfDB’s Climate Change Action Plan in 2011, which was expected to reach its conclusion stage in December 2015.

Mr Litse said the Bank mobilized $6.5 billion to support 80 climate resilience projects and 87 low-carbon projects between the 2011-2013 periods.

The group discussed AfDB’s role in setting up the Green Climate Fund, as well as its work in helping countries to access climate funding.

The AfDB has also provided assistance to the African Group, helping to formalize a unified African position prior to the COP21 Conference.

Mr Seyni Nafo, African Group spokesperson to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, said the cost of climate change to Africa was becoming extremely high revealing that statistics were alarming.

He said it was believed that Africa could lose an estimated seven percent of its Gross Domestic Product without an effective climate change adaptation policy.

The CFA franc zone meeting also addressed a range of other topics of interest to the AfDB, including financial integration and capital markets, enhanced commercial policy integration at regional level, efforts to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism in the CFA franc zone, and government debt.

These issues were discussed in the light of CFA franc zone convergence criteria and multilateral surveillance system reforms in the ECOWAS and CEMAC zones.
Among dignitaries present was Mr Michel Sapin, French Minister of Economy and Finance.

Source: GNA

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