UN chief calls for action on escalating climate crisis, conflicts in Africa

UN chief calls for action on escalating climate crisis, conflicts in Africa
# 11 May 2024 05:47 (UTC +04:00)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday renewed a call for the global community to support action on the climate crisis and civil strife undermining the quest for peace, stability, and sustainable growth in Africa, APA reports.

Guterres said at a briefing on the sidelines of the UN Civil Society Conference, which concludes Friday in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, that Africa remains the epicenter of climate emergencies despite its negligible contribution to the emission of planet-warming gases.

"This continent is being blasted by extreme weather, turbocharged by a climate crisis it has done next to nothing to create: From lethal floods in the East to deadly droughts in the South," Guterres said.

He stressed that Africa can overcome climatic vagaries once the continent receives a fair share of investments in renewable energy and other adaptation measures.

"Africa could be a renewables giant," Guterres said, noting that the continent is home to 30 percent of the minerals critical to green energy transition and 60 percent of the world's solar resources.

Stressing that the United Nations will press for climate justice in Africa, Guterres observed that the continent has received only 2 percent of investments in clean energy in recent decades.

The UN chief called on major economies to honor their commitment to finance climate action in Africa, while increasing their contribution to the newly established Loss and Damage Fund.

In addition, Guterres said the reform of multilateral development banks is urgent to enhance capital flows to climate action in developing countries, the majority of which are in Africa.

He urged the Group of 20 (G20) nations to lead in slashing greenhouse gas emissions while accelerating a just global phase-out of fossil fuels that are responsible for worsening planetary warming.

African governments should establish ambitious national climate plans by next year to help attract investments required to enhance the resilience of communities on the front line of the climate crisis, he said.

On the ongoing conflicts in Africa, Guterres said the UN has rallied behind the African Union's call for silencing the guns and restoring peace in several hotspots, including Sudan, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sahel, and the Horn of Africa.

Guterres called upon combatants in various African hotspots to abide by international humanitarian law, protect civilians, and ensure they have access to basic services.

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