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US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate to conclude southern Africa tour


US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate to conclude southern Africa tour

Cynthia R Matonhodze Bloomberg
Photo: Cynthia R Matonhodze/Bloomberg

The US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Jonathan Pershing concludes his visit to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Senegal today.

The meeting included representatives of EU donor countries and financial institutions to advance climate goals ahead of the 26th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in early November.

African Union (AU) member states have been suffering from deforestation and imminent risks to their food and water security due to extreme weather patterns and climate-insensitive farming methods. This has exasperated intercommunity conflict–causing almost 20 million climate refugees in 2018 alone.

Pershing stressed the need for South Africa’s transition to cleaner energy and solutions to deforestation in the Congo. Meanwhile, the AU has begun incorporating security-risk planning and frameworks such as the “Bamako Declaration on Access to Natural Resources and Conflicts between Communities” to prepare its members for growing exposure to climate-related shocks.

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However, the AU lacks sufficient funding to tackle climate-risks, which coupled with a deficit in political accountability and a policy of non-interference by member states allows the risks to manifest. In the medium- to long-term, expect members of the AU to continue to resist commitments to a multilateral response on climate-related risks from reaching higher political circles.

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