Cairo – Officials from two dozen African nations and US climate envoy John Kerry are due to gather in Egypt from Wednesday for a conference to drum up funding for tackling climate change.
The three-day forum comes days after African leaders lashed out at industrialised nations for failing to show up at a summit in the Dutch city of Rotterdam dedicated to helping African nations adapt to climate impacts.
It also comes two months before Egypt hosts the crucial COP27 climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in November.
The African continent emits only around three percent of global CO2 emissions, former UN chief Ban Ki-moon noted this week.
And yet African nations are among those most exposed to climate impacts, notably worsening droughts and floods.
The forum will be held in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital 50km (30 miles) east of Cairo.
It seeks to “leverage African leaders’ voices to mobilise greater international support for a green and resilient recovery in Africa,” according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Alongside Kerry, the regional meeting will also be attended by UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohamed, international organisations, NGOs and private companies.
Funding to help poorer countries curb their emissions and strengthen their resilience will be a key flashpoint at COP27, as a long-standing goal to spend $100 billion a year from 2020 on helping vulnerable nations adapt to climate change remains unmet.
The summit in Rotterdam on Monday was the first to focus on helping Africa adapt to climate change fallout, bringing together the African Union (AU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
But Senegalese President and AU chief Macky Sall noted with “a touch of bitterness the absence of the leaders of the industrialised world” at that summit, which aimed to raise $250 million in capital.
According to the African Development Bank, the continent will need as much as $1.6 trillion between 2020 and 2030 for its own efforts to limit climate change and to adapt to the adverse impacts that are already apparent.
In late August, Group of 20 climate talks in Bali ended without a joint statement despite host Indonesia warning the world’s leading economies they must act together to combat a warming planet or risk plunging into “uncharted territory”.