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Financing green transitions

Nov 16, 2021

By Staff Writer

COP26 has seen over 200 countries commit to reducing coal usage, with Australia, India and China working to water down the initial resolution, which advocated an end to coal usage. Further, around 40 countries committed to ending methane usage, about 80 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. At the same time, financing agreements were concluded for countries, including South Africa, to move away from Cole fire-power generation.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Candice Stevens (Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition) and Samantha Petersen (WWF South Africa) argued that much more could and should have been done at Cop26. “I think we are facing such tight timelines to reverse the impacts of climate change and link it with biodiversity dots. I think at the beginning of the COP, there was so much discussion on more action and less talk. I think we did reasonably well, but I would have liked to see a little more, a bigger change in a bigger quota (Candice). (Samantha) I must say that I completely agree with canvas. It’s a little disappointing… we’re starting to get a bit concerned about how are we going to stick to the 1.5-degree temperature increase.”

Speaking about the importance of the Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition, Candice argued that one of the most critical changes in financing for moving toward more environmentally sustainable development, both in terms of scale and in relation to duration. For the first time, the coalition is an integrated solution, which comprises financial institutions, research think-tanks, NGOs and policymakers, all in an attempt to provide implementable solutions to South Africa’s need to move toward a more sustainable environmental development model.

Both did argue that conferences such as COP 26 were important, especially since they gathered together high-level individuals and because targets could then be set. However, implementation is where both agreed needed to be assessed and focused upon more,” I think it is a bit more than a talk shop, but then it comes down to implementation. So, we have to ask ourselves the question, once we’ve set these targets, and even as countries start to commit, to be able to, to see this achieved in different countries. We have to be as practical as possible, and we require prioritising what we’re going to do and where. I think that’s where sometimes there is a disjuncture between talk and action.

Both also argued that environmental sustainability in South Africa needed to consider our socioeconomic reality, else it would likely fail.

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