Theresa May’s G20 Africa announcement ignores the real demands of Africans

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s international climate lead, said: “Theresa May’s announcement of major funds for industrialising Africa is badly flawed because it makes no mention of climate change.

“When G20 leaders were focused on showing a united front on climate change against Donald Trump, Theresa May has let the side down. The UK seems to be deliberately editing ‘climate change’ out of her statements for fear of losing Trump’s approval. This kind of pandering to the USA does nothing for Britain’s standing in the world.

“Africa is suffering climate impacts, not least economically, that it did not cause. Africa’s poorest people are among the worst hit by impacts such as the horrendous famine across East Africa. Just a few weeks ago African leaders affirmed their support for growing their economies sustainably, and called on rich countries to make good on their promises of support and finance.

“Today’s announcement from the UK may look like a generous offer, but unless it helps develop clean jobs that the poorest can access, it will not truly help Africa. All future jobs and infrastructure need to be adapted to climate change – this should have been at the heart of the UK’s announcement.

“African governments are pioneering their use of clean renewable energy that will drive sustainable harnessing of Africa’s natural capital through the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the UK, together with other G20 countries must support the scaling up of clean and sustainable energy in Africa, to boost its prosperity.

“African leaders have repeatedly stated that they want more than a climate risk insurance scheme. Just three weeks ago at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, they called for richer countries do more to cut their own carbon emissions and increase their support to the most vulnerable and worst affected communities and countries who are least able to protect themselves from climate change.”

Melanie Hargreaves

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