*** Moderator Laura Becerra (left) and panelists Faten Aggad (African Climate Foundation), Hind Chawki (Standard Chartered Bank) and Gareth Phillips (AfDB) discuss Africa’s just transition ***
By Staff Reporter
African countries must chart their unique paths toward achieving a just transition, experts during a session said, to assess the needs, challenges, and opportunities of implementing a just energy transition in Africa at Africa Climate Week.
The event, titled The Just Transition in the African Context, was jointly organized by the African Development Bank and the African Climate Foundation. Laura Becerra of Neyen Consulting(link is external) moderated.
Faten Aggad, African Climate Foundation’s Senior Advisor on Climate Diplomacy, said: “Just transition is a process. It may take time to secure consensus among domestic actors and ensure inclusivity.” Speaking on the issue of scale, she said that while leapfrogging was possible at the household level, the transition could take longer for industry and other commercial sectors. There are significant gaps between financing commitments and disbursement in Africa, Aggad added.
Hind Chawki, Standard Chartered’s head of environmental, social and corporate governance for global credit markets in Africa and Pakistan, said the Covid-19 pandemic had complicated the implementation of a just transition. In many African countries, inflation and debt have increased due to the pandemic’s impacts.
Chawki stressed that this provided an opening for creative solutions and collaborations between development institutions and businesses to secure much-needed financing. Chawki also pointed out the need to put in place the right environment to attract investor interest.
Gareth Phillips, African Development Bank Manager for Climate and Environmental Finance, emphasized the need to view just transition from an African perspective and to ensure its relevance for all Africans.
“The African Development Bank will support Africa’s contribution to combating climate change and limiting global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, to be just and inclusive to address social, gender, economic, and environmental concerns of the continent,” Phillips said.
The Bank has launched a Just Transition Initiative, supported by the Climate Investment Funds, that will hold consultations with African stakeholders to build consensus around a working definition of a just transition that can be effectively implemented.
Africa Climate Week, forms part of a series of regional climate weeks being held globally. Participants are expected to outline Africa’s objectives for the upcoming COP27 in Egypt and unify and amplify the African voice to ensure action.