Roundtable aims to address climate finance inequality

The University’s Centre for Climate Justice will this week take part in an international discussion on an initiative it co-launched last year that calls on world governments and civil society to make a long-term commitment to support equitable finance for those living in climate-hit regions. The roundtable will take at 12:00 to 14:00 BST / 10:00 to 12:00 GMT-1 as part of the Ninth Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-IX) running between 13th to 17th September 2021 in Sal Island, Cabo Verde – click here to register and virtually attend the roundtable.

The platform was unveiled last November as globally influential figures put their heads together during an online event – part of the UK Government’s contribution to the Race to Zero global campaign – in a bid to identify how the lives of the poorest and vulnerable, who are disproportionately affected by climate change, can be made better.

Facilitated by the University’s Centre for Climate Justice, former Irish President Mary Robinson is acting as special advisor to the new platform, which is looking specifically at how climate finance can be “strengthened” to ensure “fair and equitable” distribution for all. The African Development Bank and the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) are partners of GCU in this initiative, entitled Advancing Equitable, Just and Gender Sensitive Climate Finance for ALL.

The platform aims to call for governments and civil society in the developed world, and those who can afford it, to make a long-term commitment to provide a sustainable source of finance, addressing the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the goods and services they buy.

Professor Tahseen Jafry, Director of GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice, will facilitate a roundtable event on September 14 with PACJA, where it is hoped discussions will provide concrete ideas and recommendations to take forward by those participating, such as a ‘checklist of actions to consider’, for example:

  • help countries recognize and articulate their adaptation needs in their NDCs and long-term strategies
  • implement projects on the ground through new and innovative mechanisms for gender sensitive climate finance
  • develop mechanisms that encourages private sector/other enterprises to get involved in adaptation projects through a gender-sensitive climate finance lens.

The event will be chaired by Dr Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director, PACJA, and those joining Professor Jafry are Darare Gonche, Executive Director, Iremo; Mwanahamisi Singano, Head of Programmes, African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET); Keiso Matashane-Marite, Gender Expert, UNECA; and Gareth Phillips, Manager, Climate and Environmental Finance, African Development Bank.

Professor Jafry said: “This long-term commitment to financing adaptation needs is vital to support innovation, capacity building and resilience of women and girls.

“Around the world, communities are experiencing the effects of climate change in different ways. As a result, some are better able to cope than others. It is for this reason that we must build resilience in a manner that is fair, inclusive, equitable and just.

“We must ensure that we meet the needs of the many not just the few. To do this we need to align climate finance with climate needs, particularly for the most vulnerable people and especially women and girls.

“Bearing the brunt of climate change and being on the frontline of climate disasters means that for many they have no choice in how to rebuild lives, their livelihoods and build resilience. Overturning this, and to enabling people to have options and to have choices, is a step change to rebuilding lives.

“Climate disasters are resulting in traumatic, deeply emotional and personal tragedies, ranging from gender-based violence, displacement, conflict, sex trafficking, STDs to name a few – and this among growing disparity in poverty among nation states. Inequality is more apparent now than it has ever been, as we are witnessing with COVID-19.”

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