As rich countries slow walk green finance, Putin offers Africa an alternative

(Climate Change News, 25 Oct 2019) Two summits in one week presented a choice for African leaders: stalled promises of climate finance in Paris or business deals in Sochi.

Two summits took place this week, offering two radically different visions for Africa’s future. 

In Paris, France, rich and developed countries met to replenish the Green Climate Fund. The UN fund was created as a carrot to convince developing countries, which have little historic responsibility for climate change, to curtail their greenhouse gas emissions.

With existing funds expected to run-out by the end of the year, the GCF’s two-day pledging conference sought to raise at least $9 billion of new cash by Friday to finance green projects in poor countries during the period 2020-2023.

Speaking ahead of the GCF pledging conference, Yannick Glemarec, executive director of the GCF, told Climate Home News the fund’s objective was “for countries not to have to chose between today and tomorrow”, between meeting energy needs and cutting emissions, but to integrate climate action and economic development.

New contributions to the fund totalling between $9bn and $10bn would be “a big success”, he said, and would “send a positive signal to developing countries”.

But many African leaders, the continent where 600 million lack access to electricity and the fund’s cash could make the most difference, were 2,900km from Paris, courting a very different opportunity on the shores of the Black Sea.

Dozens of African heads of state, including the leaders of Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana, along with ministers and thousands of business leaders arrived in the resort town of Sochi, to strengthen Russia-Africa cooperation and discuss prospective military, infrastructure and energy deals, largely focused on the oil, gas and nuclear industries.

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Climate Change News, 25 Oct 2019: As rich countries slow walk green finance, Putin offers Africa an alternative