Stepping Up Climate Action in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of G20 and COP26
Several shortcomings in the development and climate finance systems currently undermine the capacity of Sub-Saharan Africa to tackle climate change. Indebtedness and climate vulnerability progressively reinforce each other, representing one of the major obstacles to stepping up climate action in the region. Insufficient climate finance, the financing gap on adaptation and loss and damage, as well as inadequate recovery measures are other critical issues. The crucial step for strengthening climate action in Sub-Saharan Africa consists in undertaking systemic reforms within the international development and climate finance architecture. The Italian-led G20 can play a key role to promote the necessary global financial governance reforms and, by establishing an inclusive dialogue with African countries early on, it can increase the chances of an ambitious outcome at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) that will aim for an agreement on the most divisive climate finance issues, with significant implications for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Paper prepared in the framework of the project “Towards the COP26: a ‘green recovery’ for a sustainable and prosperous world”.
1. The starting point: A failed promise
2. The relationship between the debt crisis, recovery measures and climate action
2.1 Debt creating climate finance
2.2 The Debt Service Suspension Initiative and a permanent mechanism for debt crisis resolution
2.3 Special Drawing Rights and their potential role to support climate action in the global South
2.4 Debt-for-climate swaps
3. Establishing inclusive processes to strengthen African participation
4. Adaptation: Closing the financing gap and promoting a systemic change
4.1 Closing the gap starting from post-pandemic recovery packages
4.2 Towards a better integration of climate risk in the financing system
4.3 Adaptation vs. development: A false dichotomy
4.4 Addressing loss and damage