Join the Conversation: Mobilising and implementing finance to address climate change

What was really revealing to me as I listened to the different country’s finance discussions today is that they all point to the scale of financing needed to deliver on a just transition. It’s a massive challenge. Finance needs to be mobilised at scale and then that finance needs to be implemented. Big difference between mobilising finance and actually implementing transactions on the ground.

Peter Kerckhoven on the main issues in climate finance being tabled at COP27

To take a step back, what was really revealing for me walking around the conference and listening to the finance discussions happening in the various pavilions of the countries was that the themes are all the same, and are really around the scale of financing necessary to deliver on a transition. I was astounded at that scale. So, yesterday we talked about South Africa’s requirements of between R1bn and R1.5bn to deliver on our transition, as well as address our energy security issues. But then listening to the US and their pavilion today, they were talking about $1.5trillion to achieve what needs to be achieved. So, it’s a massive challenge and really needs finance to be mobilised at scale. And then for that finance to actually be used to implement, because there’s a big difference from mobilising finance to implementing.  

On South Africa leading the way in demonstrating implementation 

Well, interestingly, South Africa is really leading the way in demonstrating that because what they’ve done with the presidential climate commission is put together a task team that actually puts a plan in place to deploy it. It looks at building the capacity that you need to implement. So, I think that is the change. What we’ve heard is that a lot of the international components of this are espousing the same model that South Africa has adopted as a way to implement financing for the transition. So, it’s really great to see us leading the world in that regard.  

On Africa being well situated to benefit from COP27

I believe so, absolutely. There are a number of factors at play and in the South African context, the most important of which is that when you talk about mitigation, the leverage you get of mitigating carbon in South Africa is ten times of that in an OECD country. So, that’s what’s brought huge focus on South Africa specifically. The African context has changed the nature of this COP a little bit from being pure mitigation to really bringing adaptation into play. And again, because Africa as a continent is not a huge mitigator: what’s really important is adaptation in the African context.

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