New partnerships for Africa & SIDS put climate equity, resilience and nature at the top of COP’s climate action agenda
By Climate Champions | November 2, 2021
Today, as delegates gather in Glasgow for the second day of COP26, real economy leaders join Heads of State on stage at the city’s SEC centre to launch new partnerships that will catalyze finance and climate solutions in Africa and Small Island Developing States, and help half a billion farmers to implement regenerative farming practices this decade.
The cluster of new public-private partnerships – which unite captains of industry, finance and philanthropy with leading voices from civil society, such as Xiye Bastida and Selina Leem – address acute climate vulnerabilities countries face while accelerating rates of decarbonization and resilience building. The mobilization of action and scaling-up of finance for these geographies is critical to advancing the climate action agenda.
This climate action agenda will be at the centre of COP26 and is led by the two UN High-Level Climate Champions – Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz – to drive breakthroughs across regions and sectors to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and build resilience of 4 billion people to the impacts of climate change.
As well as the new partnerships, the Champions also announce the latest members of their Race to Zero campaign, which now counts 5,235 businesses, 67 regions, 441 financial institutions, 1,039 educational institutions and 52 healthcare institutions – all committed to contributing their fair share of halving global emissions by 2030. Of particular note, Mayor Eric Garcetti (C40 Chair) reports that 1,049 cities have joined the campaign under ‘Cities Race to Zero’.
Gonzalo Muñoz said: “This is the decisive decade – the decade to deliver on the promise of Paris and the prospect of a better, safer, fairer, healthier future for everyone.”
Nigel Topping said: “To keep 1.5 degrees alive, we must cut global emissions five times faster than we have over the last decade, which requires transformative action that simultaneously builds resilience, and puts the most vulnerable communities at the heart of the conversation.”
The first partnership to be announced is the Africa Green Finance Coalition (AGFC) – a continent-wide collaboration – to spur the trillions of green investment needed to transform Africa’s economy by accelerating green finance policy and regulatory reform to attract private capital at scale, both from international and domestic investors.
Ayaan Zainab Adam, CEO Africa Capital Partners, said: “Africa has a $2.3 trillion investment gap in its core infrastructure which must be addressed. The Africa Green Finance Coalition should help get much needed capital flowing to climate resilient and low carbon infrastructure in strategic sectors such as energy, transport, logistics agriculture and sustainable and low carbon mining and manufacturing. This initiative will helpfully facilitate investment transactions across multiple countries requiring blended finance structures.”
Secondly, Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, announced a multi-jurisdictional and multi-asset financing facility to scale public and private finance for climate solutions & resilient infrastructure in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean. This financing facility aims to invest in approximately 800 megawatts of new wind, solar and EV charging infrastructure projects in Caribbean Small Island Developing States. This initiative, which will invest in shovel-ready projects, has the potential to generate game-changing impact towards accelerating clean energy transition and deployment in the region.
“The proposed project will bring more renewable energy —wind, solar and EV charging stations — to small island nations in Caribbean and Latin America,” said Moynihan, adding: “It is another example of how the private sector leaders of the SMI, working together and with the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), are mobilizing capital in creative ways to help accelerate progress.”
This Facility is announced alongside the Climate Finance Access Network – launching in eight Pacific Islands (Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) which are the first countries to receive climate finance advisors, aimed at building financial capacity and developing project pipelines across islands in the region.
The third and final partnership to be presented to world leaders is Regen10, a bold new platform to achieve regenerative food systems this decade across 50% of world food production. Regen10 will work with over 500 million farmers to apply regenerative production methods, while simultaneously ensuring roughly $60bn per year is deployed to finance the transition to reverse nature loss in line with the Paris Agreement.
The partnership will drive convergence of existing food and farming sector initiatives, and scale up collective action, by bringing together farmers along with businesses, investors, NGOs and policymakers to accelerate system change. Through its interventions, Regen10 will strengthen the agriculture and food systems’ contributions to the Paris Agreement, while halting and reversing nature loss, building resilience, and enabling farmers to earn decent incomes for the vital role they play as stewards of the land.
These initiatives kick-off a full programme of thematic events at COP26 – convened High-Level Climate Champions – starting with Finance Day on November 3 and concluding with Cities, Regions and the Built Environment next week on November 11.