Organizational Updates

AWF Participates in European Parliament Debate on the Climate Emergency

General Inquiries

Tel:+254 711 063 000

Ngong Road, Karen, P.O. Box 310
00502 Nairobi, Kenya

“Europe needs to see Africa as a solution for climate change and losses to biodiversity.” — Frederick Kumah, Vice President, Global Leadership, AWF

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) emphasized the importance of seeing Africa as a part of the solution to climate change and global losses to biodiversity at a hybrid event organized by the European Parliament political group, the Socialists & Democrats (S&D). The hybrid event was held in the European Parliament, Brussels, and online, as part of the S&D Africa Week 2022 on the theme: “Climate emergency: EU-Africa – Promoting green innovation for people and nature” ahead of the AU-EU Summit on February 17 and 18, 2022. Participants discussed the protection of biodiversity in Africa, access to financing for the energy and agriculture sectors, and linking biodiversity to the building of the resilience of communities in Africa amongst other issues.

MEP Andreas Schieder (S&D, Austria) opened the session by stating that, on a global scale, it is those who contribute the least to global carbon emissions, such as people living in Africa, who are most affected by its consequences. Schieder recalled the European Union’s climate change targets and emphasized the importance of cooperation to reach them. Panelists insisted on the need to improve access to green finance to improve Africa’s adaptation: “What is provided does not match what is needed” said Leia Achampong, Senior Policy, and Advocacy Officer on Climate Finance at Eurodad.

“Africa is home to 10 percent of the world’s biodiversity but it should not be taken for granted,” added Frederick Kumah, Vice President, Global Leadership Team at AWF. “An investment in Africa’s biodiversity is critical. If we lose that biodiversity today then we are losing the very basis of our existence going forward, both for Africa as well as the rest of the world”. Mr. Kumah also mentioned that AWF is promoting a development model that enables biodiversity protection whilst also meeting people’s needs: “It sounds small but what is local can be taken globally.” He also highlighted how Africa is contributing to climate change mitigation with its greatest reserves of water, wind, and solar energy — all of which are key for generating renewable energy. He also called for investment in the continent to access these benefits, as well as investment in business partnerships between Europe and Africa.

Closing the discussions, Mr. Schieder noted the importance of panel discussions to gain ideas and shape the EU’s future work. He explained that climate change is a very serious issue, but it is a global issue that requires a global outlook. When it comes to putting ideas into practice, Mr. Schieder summarized that grants and, preferably, loans are needed to invest in new opportunities, technologies, and education that can work to mitigate the impacts of climate change. He concluded by warning against too much privatization of public services on the road to a more sustainable future.

View the full discussion (the session starts at 35:31)

The panel featured Ms. Leia Achampong (Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer on Climate Finance at Eurodad), Ms. Mary Anso (Research Consultant, Adonai Consult LLC), Mr. Gabriele Giuglietti (President of Cresud and Head of International Development Office - Banca Etica), Mr. Frederick Kumah (Vice-President, Global Leadership, AWF), Mr. George Marbuah (Stockholm Environment Institute), Mr. Robert Muthami (Kenya, Project Manager/ Expert on Climate Change member of COP Delegation 2021), MEP Andreas Schieder (S&D, Austria, and Co-Chair of the Global Progressive Forum (GPF)). The session was moderated by Amara Nwankpa (Director of Public Policy Initiative, Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Foundation).