Sub-Saharan Africa is to Get Bulk of US Climate Impact Aid Health, Climate & SDGs 08/08/2022 • Kerry Cullinan Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken The bulk of $3 billion in annual aid the US has committed to helping the most vulnerable countries to adapt to the impact of climate change is likely to go to sub-Saharan Africa, said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 17 of the world’s 20 most climate vulnerable countries, which puts it first in line to benefit from the aid package US President Joe Biden announced at the 26th Congress of the Parties (COP26) meeting last year, Blinken said during a visit to South Africa on Monday. The United Nations recognises Africa as the most vulnerable region in the world to the effects of climate, with droughts and floods “now twice as likely to occur due to climate change”, said Blinken. “Not all countries bear equal responsibility for this crisis. The United States has around 4% of the world’s population and we contribute about 11% of global [carbon] emissions, making us the second biggest emitter after China. Sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 15% of the world’s population, produces only 3% of emissions,” said Blinken. “Leaders across Africa have made it clear that, while they’re committed to doing their part to reduce climate change, they need greater and more reliable energy access to meet people’s urgent needs and growing needs,” said Blinken. The US is committed to helping different countries with energy transition “tailored to individual capacities and individual circumstances” and to “supporting the workers and communities who will bear the greatest short-term costs,” he added. Making a “just energy transition” offers a “once-in-generations opportunity to expand energy access and create opportunities for Africans and for Americans”, said Blinken. The US is working with partners to build West Africa’s first hybrid solar-hydro plant which is going to “improve reliability, reduce costs, and cut more than 47,000 tonnes of emissions every year”. “That is the equivalent of taking about 10,000 cars off the road. In Kenya, where 90% of the energy comes from renewable sources, US firms have invested $570 billion into off-grid energy markets, creating 40,000 green jobs,” said Blinken. He added that partnerships to “conserve and restore the continent’s natural ecosystems” was also crucial to reducing Africa’s emissions and preserving its unique biodiversity. “That means delivering real incentives for governments and communities to choose conservation over deforestation, not just pledges, because the lasting consequences of losing forests like the one in the Congo Basin, will be devastating and irreversible for local communities as well as for communities around the world. The Democratic Republic of Congo lost almost 500,000 hectares of rainforest in 2021, the second highest loss in the world after the Amazon in Brazil, according to the World Resources Institute’s Global Forest Review. Chinese companies have been linked to large-scale illegal logging in the forests in the DRC. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Combat the infodemic in health information and support health policy reporting from the global South. Our growing network of journalists in Africa, Asia, Geneva and New York connect the dots between regional realities and the big global debates, with evidence-based, open access news and analysis. To make a personal or organisational contribution click here on PayPal.