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Unpacking Nairobi Declaration; a focus on accelerated climate action and financing mechanisms

Story by Memory Chamisa

ZIMBABWE is set to reap benefits from the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration which was adopted at the recently held Africa Climate Summit in Kenya.

African leaders at the Africa Climate Summit in Kenya expressed concern that many countries on the continent face disproportionate burdens and risks from climate change-related disasters.

Through the adoption of the Nairobi Declaration, the leaders concurred on the need for an urgent and concrete action plan to reform the multilateral financial system for them to be able to build resilience to climate shocks.

Unpacking the declaration, the Chief Director of the Environment, Climate, Meteorological Services Department, Professor Brighton Matondi sheds light on how Zimbabwe is positioned to access climate funding.

“The climate change impacts have included prolonged droughts, devastating floods, wild and forest fires, which cause massive humanitarian crisis with detrimental impacts on economies, health, education, peace and security, among other risks.

“Zimbabwe has since gone through some of these with cyclones, droughts, and floods having displaced many communities acknowledging that climate change is the single greatest challenge facing humanity and the single biggest threat to all life on earth. Historically Zimbabwe is not responsible for global warming but has borne the brunt of its effect, impacting lives, livelihoods, and economies.

“We note that multilateral finance reform is necessary but not sufficient to provide the scale of climate financing the world needs to achieve the 45 per cent emission reduction required to meet the Paris 2030 agreements, without which keeping global warming to 1.5% will be in serious jeopardy, the Declaration said, noting that, additionally, that the scale of financing required to unlock Zimbabwe and Africa’s climate positive growth is beyond the borrowing capacity of national balance sheets,” he said.

Zimbabwe Carbon Association Vice Chairperson, Miss Chiyedza Heri highlighted some of the areas Zimbabwe has to work on for it to benefit from the Nairobi Declaration.

“The inaugural African Climate Summit in Nairobi is over for now. As we head to COP28 we as a country need something to show for our attendance and commitment to the Nairobi Declaration. The commitments and announcements equate to a combined investment of nearly US$26 billion from the public, private sector, and multilateral development banks, philanthropic foundations, and other partners in the development financing community.

“How is Zimbabwe placing itself to receive climate finance? Massive capacity building is needed on climate change within the financial sector. Beyond carbon credits, there are guarantees and green bonds. The opportunity is massive. Then there is a loss and damage fund being established, if the financial sector doesn’t understand mechanisms we will be shut out. Offsets can be utilised in debt restructuring Africa is also rich in biodiversity and natural capital.”

The Africa Climate Summit also witnessed African leaders stressing the importance of decarbonising the global economy for equality and shared prosperity.

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