By Mekonnen Teshome

With the adoption of a Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGES), Ethiopia has made exemplary climate change adaptation moves over the last decade, however,  the national program is now challenged by a lack of global climate financing.

The country says that it needs 157 billion dollars to implement its Long-term low-emissions development strategies (LT-LEDS).

Ethiopia’s climate financing challenges were brought to light by the country’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) experts at the Sharma El Sheikh Climate Summit in Egypt.

According to the experts, though Ethiopia is currently facing the worst impacts of climate change never seen in the last 40 years of its history, the support from “development partners” was negligible in relation to climate change financing.

International Environmental Agreements Negotiations Director with EPA, Mensur Dese, during the country’s COP27 sideline report, indicated that impacts of climate change including recurrent drought, flash floods, and erratic rains have increased drastically over the last four decades in Ethiopia due to the ever-changing climate.

The experts who presented Ethiopia’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP), further elaborated that low-land areas of the country, in the Somalia, Oromia, South and Southwest regional states have been severely affected due to the human-induced challenge.

This year’s drought continues to threaten people’s livelihoods due to water scarcity and food insecurity. As to the experts’ report 8.1 million people were affected by the drought, over 2.1 million cattle died as a result, and 22 million are still at risk. The situation in Eastern Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular calls for an immediate global climate financing response.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, noting the slow-moving global climate change related to the unfulfilled promises of the developed countries, underscored: “It is past time to address the growing financial and technological needs. Pledges must be translated into new resources and support. The time to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis is running out. We must now scale up our efforts.”

“Increased funding must reflect the magnitude of Africa’s challenge. Countries must honor their climate pledges, provide the necessary financing, and address the outstanding issues of loss and damage and the carbon trading mechanism in ways that allow for faster results.”

Prime Minister Abiy said that Africa is the most vulnerable to climate change while accounting for less than 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and approximately 17% of the total global population.

Nevertheless, he added that the continent receives less than five percent of the world’s climate fund, which is mainly in debt.

Developed countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, and Australia acknowledged that there is currently a funding gap in addressing loss and damage, at an informal consultation on loss and damage finance on November 10, 2022, during COP27.

As part of COP negotiations, developed countries pledged to provide $100 billion in climate finance to developing countries by 2020. But they are yet to meet the commitment.

With the announcement of $150 million donation for Africa’s adaptation to climate change by US and Egypt announced this week, it seems that the appeal is being fulfilled, however, the global financial requirement is huge as the impact of climate change is rapidly increasing.

To this end, a United Nations-backed report presented at COP27 reveals that developing and emerging countries excluding China need investments well beyond $2 trillion annually by 2030 if the world is to stop the global warming juggernaut and cope with its effects.

One of the lead authors of the report, Nicholas Stern confirms that rich countries should recognize that it is in their vital self-interest, as well as a matter of justice given the severe impacts caused by their high levels of current and past emissions, to invest in climate action in emerging markets and developing countries.

Abbas Mohamed, Chief Executive Officer of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Ministry of Planning and Development, in his brief to donor countries and development partners in Sharm El-Sheikh, solicited the support of development partners to help Ethiopia implement its plan.

He told participants that the country envisages an average of 9.1 percent economic growth in 30 years’ time when the plan is implemented and 85.3 million jobs will be created due to the green economy the country is going to realize.