Christian Aid’s Pan-Africa senior advocacy advisor, Joab Bwire Okanda, has emphasized the importance of concrete and tangible outcomes in addressing the climate crisis in Africa. He welcomes the call for a global carbon tax on fossil fuels but cautions against false solutions such as carbon credits that allow polluters to continue without taking meaningful action.
Okanda also highlights the need to operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund agreed upon at COP27, as COP28 approaches. He stresses that lower-income countries should be included in the decision-making process of this fund and in wider economic governance to prevent any disadvantage.
Regarding debt, Okanda supports the consensus among African leaders for an overhaul of the current system. He calls for debt cancellations and structural solutions that can create fiscal space for financing development and climate action without worsening the debt crisis.
The first Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi provided an opportunity for African countries to address the severe consequences they face due to the climate crisis, such as failed harvests and extreme flooding. Christian Aid emphasizes the urgency of seeing concrete and tangible outcomes from this summit, given the severity of the situation in Africa.
Looking ahead to COP28, Okanda urges the international community to prioritize the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund, which aims to support countries affected by climate change impacts. He stresses the need for lower-income countries to have a voice in decision-making processes to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of resources.
In addition, Okanda highlights the issue of debt, which is a significant barrier to financing climate action and development in Africa. He supports the idea of debt cancellations and structural solutions that can create the necessary financial space to address both the climate crisis and development needs without exacerbating debt.
Overall, Christian Aid emphasizes the need for concrete actions and solutions to address the climate crisis in Africa, including a global carbon tax, operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund, and finding sustainable solutions to the issue of debt.