Climate change will be high on the agenda at the upcoming G7 Summit this weekend in the United Kingdom. President Cyril Ramaphosa has been invited and is expected to raise issues of financial support for developing nations tackling the effects of climate change.

In a pre-Summit telephonic conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday; the topic was among some of the global issues that will be discussed over the weekend. The UK will also host the United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP26 in Glasgow in November.

The G7 Summit’s three main issues to be discussed are global public health and how to prevent another pandemic, economic recovery, and global trade as well as climate change. On Sunday climate talks will take centre stage and an integral part is a commitment by the advanced economies to financially supporting adaptation and mitigation efforts in the Global South.

The Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change met yesterday.

“Africa continues to bear the brunt of climate change, with annual costs to African economies of between 3 to 5 % of their GDPs on average. Africa continues to be one of the most affected regions and frequently experiences phenomena associated with global warming. These include droughts, floods, cyclones, and other extreme weather events, which have caused enormous damage to infrastructure and displaced thousands of people,” says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Africa’s negotiating team at the Climate Change Conference in November will have its work cut out for them.  Ramaphosa’s participation in the G7 Summit talks aims to assist the negotiations during COP26 in Glasgow.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says Africa has been suffering the effects of climate change: 

The United States having rejoined the Paris Agreement is seen as positive. “It is absolutely imperative that everyone must contribute their fair share if we are to limit global warming to the agreed target of well below 2 degrees, build the resilience of our economies and ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens. Therefore, at this critical juncture, Africa needs to speak with one clear voice to emphasise the primacy of multilateralism and to express our unwavering support for the full implementation of the UN Climate Change Convention and its Paris Agreement.”

Ramaphosa says Africa also needs to have clear ambitions ahead. “We need to send a clear signal that implementation and ambition apply equally to mitigation, adaptation, and support. Increased ambition for action must be matched with enhanced ambition for support. While this pandemic is having a profound impact on sustainable development and our efforts to combat environmental degradation, it also presents opportunities to set our recovery on a path of transformative sustainable development. In this regard, many governments and regions are prioritising a green recovery as part of their stimulus packages to address the crisis.”

Africa has been calling on developed nations to consider pouring in financial aid, technological and knowledge transfers as part of their climate ambitions.