Many developing countries worry about mobilizing resources to finance their projects that respond to the climate change challenge. Do African countries have power in the allocation of climate finance? How can developing countries attract this Financing? Will the Green Fund “save” Africa? Interview with Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Senior climate specialist and member of the RDC Climate Task Force.
Do African countries have power in the allocation of climate finance?
I believe that African countries are indeed in a privileged position today, and I think we are moving towards a “win-win” partnership”.
It is no longer a model based on Official Development Assistance, but a partnership where certain countries have a financial resource and other countries have a natural resource: forests, potential in terms of renewable energies.
So, it means sitting down at the same table and finding a way to realize this potential that exists in developing countries, and aligning it with the financing that exists in developed countries.
How can developing countries attract this financing?
It is necessary to create a conducive framework for this. Reforms need to be implemented in developing countries, to make institutions more effective, to ensure there is good governance, transparency in legislation, policies, programs.
There must also be capacity building so that the available financing can be absorbed.
Finally, there must be ownership at national level by involving all the stakeholders: local, civil society, private, government, so that the program which will be implemented can effectively convince the external partner.
How to ensure that the funds allocated to the ecological transition are well used?
First, there is a need for credible projects, credible programs, also knowing that in fact one feeds on the other. If there is financing, this financing could help to define projects, which could subsequently be eligible for existing financing. And the more these projects will be implemented, the more there will be a virtuous circle which will involve more actors. So, several things have to be done at the same time.
Is there a clear link between climate protection, resilience and development?
This link is not clear. Sometimes people oppose them. But there is a way to find a model where they both go hand in hand.
We must simply try to understand, for example, that investing in renewable energies helps to protect nature, because this can help people to turn away from forests.
It also helps governments to reduce their energy bills, because fossil fuels are relatively expensive. Investment in renewable energy projects may initially be costly, but it is an investment that is recovered in the long term.
Will the Green Fund save Africa?
No, Africa will save itself, but the Green Fund can help to implement policies, programs, projects, which will help Africa to make faster progress towards the objective of low-carbon development. But Africa must be able to work itself, must be able to take ownership of this issue of low-carbon development, and implement a framework that respects the specific reality of Africa, so that these projects can be sustainable.
If it is simply a matter of bringing in projects designed outside, unfortunately these projects will have a limited lifespan.