Nasser Bourita, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, has said that Africa is growingly and “disproportionately” affected by climate change.
Speaking at a consultative meeting of the Climate Commission for the Sahel region at UN headquarters, Bourita emphasized the continent’s exposure to a number of climate-induced crises mostly caused by actors outside the continent. “The Sahel region, like the African continent, is unduly and disproportionately affected by the consequences of global warming to which it contributes almost nothing,” he said.
The minister noted that the meeting, organized on the eve of the Climate Action Summit, “is an appropriate opportunity to convey our messages to the United Nations and the world.”
“Our region is determined to take up its environmental challenges,” said Bourita. He also added that “the First Africa Action Summit for Continental Co-emergence, held on the margins of COP22, made it possible to enshrine this commitment.”
Calling for a responsible and supportive commitment, urging the international community to honor its commitments in terms of helping the Sahel region tackle its growing climate-induced challenges. “If there is one promise to the Sahel today that should finally be honored,” Bourita stressed, “it is to help redress the imbalances caused by climate change.”
The minister recalled that international partners expressed, at the First Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Climate Commission for the Sahel Region held in Niamey in February 2019, their commitment to finance the implementation of the Commission’s Regional Priority Programme with a budget of $3.41 billion.
“This is an important step that should continue to provide this Commission with full bilateral, regional and international support for the implementation of the Climate Investment Plan (PIC-RS) in its entirety,” he added.
Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, also participated in pre-summit activities. The minister attended the Coalition on Energy Transition event organized by Denmark and Ethiopia.
A Summit-related press release from the Ministry of Energy emphasized Morocco’s efforts on energy efficiency and other environment-friendly policies. “Morocco has succeeded, as part of its new model of development…to develop an energy model based mainly on the rise of renewable energies and the strengthening of energy efficiency,” said the statement.
The ministry also noted that Morocco’s new, energy-efficient model “positions it today among the advanced countries that are really committed to this energy transition.”
Several foreign ministers from African countries, as well as representatives of France, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations system, attended the Consultative Meeting of the Climate Commission.
The Sahel Region Climate Commission brings together 17 countries from three African subregions: West, Central, and Eastern Africa. It includes, among others, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, and Chad.