#ACS2023: Kagame calls for serious consideration of ‘Bridgetown Initiative’

By Jane Babirye
On 5 September 2023 at 03:27

President Paul Kagame has called on the participants attending the Africa Climate Summit (ACS) to give great consideration to the ‘Bridgetown Initiative’ that was spearheaded by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley.

Kagame made the remarks on 4th, August, 2023 while speaking at the ‘Africa Climate Summit’ happening at Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) in Kenya.

In his speech, Kagame applauded the International community for working closely with Rwanda towards ‘the strategy of positioning itself as an attractive destination for international climate financing and investment’.

He underscored that there is still room for improvement and called for implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“I welcome the discussions held at the Paris summit for renewing the Global financial pact, the bridge town initiative spearheaded by the Prime Minister of Barbados-Mia Mottley also deserves consideration and serious attention,” he stated.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change that was adopted by 196 parties at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, France on 12th, December, 2015 but entered into force on 4th, November, 2016.

In 2022, during the UN Climate Change Conference(COP 27), Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados unveiled ‘The Bridgetown Initiative’ that calls for “changes and new mechanisms that would provide inclusive, resilient finance to address the climate and development crisis”.

The Bridgetown initiative is calling for 5 main things namely; a change in how money is loaned to and repaid by a country hit by a disaster aiming to prevent countries from spiraling into a debt crisis and call on the World’s Development Banks like World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to mobilise an additional $1 trillion to developing nations for climate resilience.

Other areas of focus include a call for a new mechanism to be set up to fund climate mitigation and rebuilding in the wake of a disaster, widening of the eligibility for lending below market rates for climate-vulnerable countries investing in resilience in climate-vulnerable countries and calls for a new loss and damage fund that pays out when a major climate disaster hits.

Stressing that, despite contributing the smallest share of Global GreenHouse Gas Emission (GHGE), Africa carries the burden of rising temperatures, Kagame urged for continued efforts towards mitigating climate change effects.

“We can’t just continue talking about it without doing what is required to fix the problem. This is unfair, but in the long run, playing the blame game is not the answer.

A more pragmatic approach is for Africa to be a key player in the search for global climate solutions. Africa stands united and should remain so, in this position,” he stated.

The Africa Climate Summit is a three -day summit championed by Dr. William Ruto and co-hosted by the Government of Kenya and African Union Commission.

During the summit, policy makers, practitioners, business and civil society members will have a platform to showcase Global solutions, innovations and projects aimed at mitigating climate change challenges.

President Kagame has called for serious consideration of ‘Bridgetown Initiative’.