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Report outlines ways to help developing nations transition to ‘green’ economy

afrol News, 26 October - A new United Nations-backed report released today details how to ensure that developing countries are part of the transition to a ‘green’ economy.

With some $500 billion a year expected to be needed to help poorer nations adapt to climate change and at the same time power low-carbon growth, the funds must come from the private sector but that requires creative public policies, according to the study issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and a global partnership of investors and insurance companies.

“Combating climate change represents an important opportunity to move economies onto a low carbon, resource efficient, Green Economy path,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP’s Executive Director. “If this is to succeed, developing countries should and must be part of that transformation.”

The new report, he said, shows how current barriers to shifting to a low carbon economy can be “leap-frogged,” paving the way for a new North-South relationship.

Issued today in Cape Town, South Africa, it calls for expanding insurance against country risk and for funds to hedge currency risk, among other recommendations.

A recent study commissioned by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) found that the private sector will have to supply up to 90 per cent of the funds needed to meet the climate challenge, but that at present it is unwilling to undertake large investments in developing countries due to the limited returns on low-carbon investments.

The report issued today - entitled “Catalysing Low Carbon Growth in Developing Economies: public finance mechanisms to scale up private sector investment in climate solutions” - urges an effective distribution of roles between the public and private sectors.

With appropriate public finance mechanisms, the public sector can help manage risks that the private sector cannot control, it noted.

On Friday in Addis Ababa, African countries sent a strong message to the world to be compensated equitably, in the context of environmental justice, for environmental resources, economic and social loses considering developed countries historical responsibilities on climate change, saying Africa requires new, sustained and scaled-up finance, technology and capacity for adaptation and risk management.

The African negotiators sent this message in winding up their Second Technical Meeting, which was one of the last for the continent to consolidate consensus on its common position against the backdrop of new developments in the ongoing negotiations on climate change, which tend to suggest the replacement or the merger of the Kyoto Protocol among others.

African Negotiators’ message in this regard was unambiguous, that Africa will neither accept replacement of Kyoto Protocol nor its merger with any new agreement.

According to a statement from the meeting, Africa’s shared vision calls for a fair, inclusive, effective and equitable new agreement in Copenhagen that will benefit the climate and vulnerable countries and be undertaken in the context of poverty eradication, sustainable development and the need for gender equity.

Africa, as the most vulnerable continent, deserves the right for full support to adapt to climate change. Africa has also contributed the least to the global greenhouse gas emissions yet its communities stand to suffer the most, the meeting concluded.

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