‘Global leaders should act  tough on climate change’

‘Global leaders should act tough on climate change’

President Samia Suluhu Hassan delivered a speech at COP26 on Tuesday. In her three-minute speech, she addressed a number of issues including implementation of measures to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions in order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Staff Writer, Abduel ELINAZA, interviewed Dr HILDEBRAND SHAYO, an economistcum-investment banker, on how development finance institutions are likely to re-positioning and finance COP26’s target to reduce carbon emission.

Question: Can COP26 break down the walls between development and climate finance more responsive as opposed to the past initiatives?


I don’t know how many in the COP26 will recall correctly, but at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Cancun in 2010, the international community did set a plan to address the specific mitigation and adaptation need of emerging nations.

Mobilisation of 100 billion US dollars per year by 2020 was placed on the table. Has this promise been fulfilled? If not, what happened? Are commitments at the COP26 going to be the same or it will it be business as usual?

At present, the term climate finance and commitment to reducing emission is very much linked to political commitment.

This is a key piece of the global political negotiations and commitment as it centres on supporting financing and hence building trust between developed and emerging nations. This trust is, in my view, a necessary condition to reach any meaningful global agreement to tackle the climate challenge.

Otherwise, the opposite can be devastating. There is a need to remember that the UK is hosting the summit COP26 amid mounting concern among scientists that countries are not doing enough to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases, which have caused average global temperatures to rise.

The 2015 Paris climate conference called for average temperatures to rise by well below 2°C and preferably only 1.5°C when matched to preindustrial averages. But are we getting much discussion linked to financing trajectory?

Question: One of the principal challenges the world is facing today is to re-size the financial flows per year necessary to achieve the reduction of long-term climate set objectives. What do you expect to hear from COP26, and would this change traditional financing scenery?


I would like the world to be aware that achieving a transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient will require the combination of climate issues as a prism through which all investment decisions should be made.

To my view, discussion at the COP26 will provide opportunities and challenges on how to link low carbon setting targets to the objectives of development finance.

It is my hope that after the COP26, the world will witness more nations independently exploring the role of development finance institutions especially for public funded DFIs and their support for the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economic standard.

This will necessitate a move from centering on a narrow vision of climate finance to a means of aligning activities across the economy with the objectives to ensure that most investments are coherent with the long-term shifts to reduce environmental damage.

Question: How will it be an ongoing challenge to members into COP26 to rethink the way development is financed?


I believe most emerging nations are in this conference somehow undecided. Undeniably, emerging nations are now typified by a high demand for infrastructure and economic development projects to meet the needs of fast-growing populations in their nations.

Similarly, developed nations are also setting a different timelines.

As these needs are more and more met, the demand for energy and to certain extent destruction of the environment will surge before a target of at least long-term 1.5°C can be entirely achieved. If historical trends are watched, this increase in demand will result in a rapid increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more activities that can be unfriendly to the environment will be witnessed given economic growth competition within countries.

The world needs to be ready because exceeding certain concentrations of greenhouse gas emission levels in the atmosphere will incite severe systemic changes which would not only endanger the world’s environmentally friendly system but also jeopardize social and economic development for the future generation.

Question: As the world arrives at the end of the Millennium Development Goals process and the Sustainable Development Goals, do you foresee that achieving these goals remain a significant challenge in terms of financing to reach Paris Agreement goals.


As the so-called rich nations gather to map out a way forward, the climate has often been seen as an additional issue needing further, dedicated financing. My assessment of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a work-up call to all leaders to move from what he described as an aspiration to action to slow global warming because according to him a determined outcome was still in the balance.

This suggests given the transversal nature of climate change, there is a case to mainstream climate and the broader task of achieving low-carbon, resilient economic and social growth across development objectives both for rich and importantly for the poor nation.

Amidst conflict between financing development and climate consequence, especially for poor nations, the scale of the challenge and the limited resources to finance both issues on their own and the need to tackle multiple challenges simultaneously, in my view will continue to become more critical.

If you can recall details of mechanisms on how to go about these issues were reflected in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which tied great reputation to the environment and climate change-related objectives.

Question: What should world leaders and financiers on global issues do to redefine financing culture?


One, world leaders should make some tough preferences and commitment to things leaders into the conference didn’t certainly want to when they arrived at the COP26 conference.

Face to face discussion is vital, but what is more important is set a commitment to make progress to reduce emissions through new investment.

Two, integrating financial risk and properly valuing investments is another area that requires attention. DFIs and larger financiers will continue to be confronted with mandates and objectives that span multiple time horizons.

These institutions are subject to shortterm performance objectives for instance signatures, disbursement, financial performance as well as medium to long-term development objectives.

In future financing, these institutions must cope with multiple considerations across sectors, disciplines and time-horizons in their investment decisionmaking processes if the target is to help reduce damage to the environment.

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