By Guest Writer
OPINION: On September 5, 2023, Daily Monitor published a report authored by Action Aid, titled “How the Finance Flows.”According to the report, the climate crisis is being fueled by big global banks, including the ones in Europe, America, and Asia that have persistently continued to provide funds for the projects that worsen the climate crisis in Africa.
More so, the report indicates that since the Paris agreement, there has been $3.23 trillion in bank financing to fossil fuel operations in the Global South, close to 870 billion in loans and $2.4 billion in underlining, which averages around $460 billion annually, meaning that banks have provided 18 times more financing to fossil fuel activities in the Global South than in the Global North.
The projects under investment include fossil fuels and industrial agriculture that are dangerous to the environment and human beings. All combined, they lead to land degradation, water pollution, burning of fossil fuels, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, and degradation of natural habitats due to deforestation and wetland degradation, thereby releasing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and warming the planet and destabilizing the climate.
It is because of climate destabilization that Uganda as a country has continued to register unending cases of floods in the districts of Kasese, Bududa, and Mbale and drought in Karamoja, causing a thousand people to lose their lives. Research also estimates that by 2050, 150 to 200 million people will be at risk of being forced to leave their homes due to climate disasters.
As the African leaders and investors have been in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Africa Climate Summit, we expect them to have shared amicable solutions to end the climate crisis since it is the most pressing issue being felt by everyone all over the world.
This way, we would be able to boost our capacity to adapt and be resilient to climate changes, hence achieving goal thirteen (13) of the UN General Assembly on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that require all countries to implement climate action.
Conclusively, to regulate the financing of fossil fuels, governments all over the world need to use litigation as a way of holding banks accountable by utilizing courts and international judicial systems to pressurize countries to tighten regulations on banks that are still financing fossil fuel activities so that the money can be channeled to green economic activities such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, and renewables as they are environmentally friendly.
The author is Hildah Nsimiire, a researcher at the African Institute for Energy Governance.
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