UN Secretary-General calls on G20 nations to assume their responsibilities

By Jane Babirye
On 6 September 2023 at 03:09

The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the G20 countries that are meeting in Delhi later this week, to assume their responsibilities and help African nations mitigate the effects of climate change.

He was speaking at the Africa Climate Summit held in Kenya.

“I make a very strong appeal to the large emitters responsible for 80% of the emissions, the G20 countries meeting in Delhi this week [9th and 10th September, 2023] to assume your responsibilities,” said the UN Secretary-General.

According to UN, Africa contributes 2-3% of the global emissions but suffers the most from the changing climate with weather conditions such as floods and droughts responsible for thousands of deaths in Africa.

Over ten African leaders attended the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Kenya. The event started on the 4th to 6th, August, 2023 championed by Kenyan President, Dr. William Ruto and co-hosted by the Government of Kenya and the African Union Commission.

During the summit, Ruto stressed Africa’s dedication to transform potential into opportunity, ideas into actions and plans into results to mitigate climate implications on the African continent.

“In Africa, we can be a green industrial hub that helps other regions achieve their net zero strategies by 2050. Unlocking the renewable resources that we have in our continent is not only good for Africa, it is good for the rest of the world,” he explained.

Africa needs more than US$120 billion to mitigate the effects of climate change and a smoother transition to cleaner energy resources.

However, only a fraction is received, prompting African leaders to continue seeking commitment from responsible nations to intervene.

While speaking on day two of the summit, Rwandan President Paul Kagame also reminded the participants of the need to put into serious consideration the Bridgetown Initiative.

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

The Bridgetown Initiative calls for a change in how money is loaned to and repaid by a country hit by a disaster.

Development banks like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are urged to mobilise an additional $1 trillion to developing nations for climate resilience, a new mechanism to be set up to fund climate mitigation and rebuilding in the wake of a disaster.

Other areas of intervention include; widening of the eligibility for lending below market rates for climate-vulnerable countries, investing in resilience in climate-vulnerable countries and the establishment of a new loss and damage fund that pays out when a major climate disaster hits.

Reports indicate that Africa loses between 5-15% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year to advance impacts of climate change yet capital remains prohibitive. Hence, the Africa Climate Summit (ACS) and Africa Climate Week aim to address issues of green growth, climate finance and sustainable development for Africa.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has called on G20 nations to assume their responsibilities.
Over ten African leaders attended the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Kenya.