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African leaders call for more financing to battle climate change

DAKAR, (The Southern African Times) – African leaders rallied Tuesday in a virtual summit calling for scaled-up actions and financing to combat the effects of climate change that are already being felt in the continent of 1.3 billion.

The Leaders’ Dialogue on the Africa COVID-Climate Emergency saw representatives discussing the twin challenges of facing the pandemic alongside climate change.

“Africa remains a continent with immense opportunities if we act now to contain the pandemic, deal with the serious debt burdens and work on plans and tools to tackle climate change,” said the newly appointed World Trade Organization chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Presidents from Congo, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Kenya and other countries talked about the need for support to accelerate the effort against climate change, which has affected food security, and health on the continent.

“Africa contributed just 3 percent of global emissions, yet we are the continent which … is already paying the biggest price,” said Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

“Every day, the thunderstorms seem more violent, flooding is more frequent and droughts more severe … our crops are failing. People are being forced to flee their homes, becoming climate refugees,” he added. “The oceans are turning to acid and salt is penetrating croplands, causing further serious challenges to food security.”

Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, said developed nations have a responsibility to support those in Africa, as it’s the lowest emitter of carbon and faces the worst consequences and impacts of climate change.

He said the development bank group’s goal is to mobilize $25 billion for climate adaptation over the next four years.

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