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Despite the immense potential of Africa’s vast, resource-rich forests, commercial investments in forestry have nearly ground to a halt across the continent over the course of the past decade. Since 2000, for instance, the commercial private sector has established only about 125,000 hectares of new plantations, whereas smallholders have planted a mere 250,000 hectares. To make matters worse, government-owned forests shrank by approximately 100,000 hectares during the same period.
In 2008, as the urgency of global support for climate-smart development became increasingly apparent, donor and recipient countries established the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) through the multilateral development banks as a transitory financial mechanism to help provide an interim climate source of funding, pending the effectiveness of a new multilateral climate finance facility developed under the guidance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In the run-up to 2015’s historic COP21, there was a lot of debate about the role carbon markets should play in the final negotiated Paris Agreement. Many, myself included, called for inclusion of carbon trading; and I recall a general sigh of relief when Article 6 of the Agreement was accepted, seemingly creating space for a new carbon market mechanism (Article 6.4) and transfer of International Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) (Article 6.2).
Sometimes as a quick-fix solution to ending poverty, the world’s poor countries including Least Developing Countries (LDCs) resort to cheap but unsustainable exploitation of natural resources: develop now and clean up later! This approach may have been used by developed nations years ago, but times have changed.
The challenge of the Paris Agreement is “to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century”. It’s a 50-year marathon, made up of successive five-year sprints, and we need to approach it as such.
Climate diplomacy is the process of advocating for actions to respond to climate change in diplomatic dialogues, public diplomacy, and policy instruments, and of contributing to public awareness about climate actions needed to effect change. What role does climate diplomacy play in ensuring effective climate actions around the globe?
Often over the past few years, I’ve come across fellow colleagues working as investment officers who view concessional climate finance as a pure co-financing instrument that can quickly and effectively cover a funding gap in any given project. They fail to understand that if structured in such a simple way, the full potential of concessionality to drive private investment in under-invested sectors will not be met.