Africa shrugs off net-zero emissions push without finance to follow
(Reuters, 19 Nov 2020) With already low emissions - and little international investment to pursue clean growth or carbon storage - many African countries do not see net zero as a priority.
As more countries, cities, investors and businesses set net-zero emissions goals, they now cover about half of the world's economy - but Africa is largely left out of the picture so far.
Of its 54 countries, only South Africa has set a net-zero aim - and failure to revamp policies to benefit from a global low-carbon shift may mean Africa misses out on investment, said Wendy Hughes, a carbon markets manager at the World Bank Group.
But officials from the continent noted that with sub-Saharan Africa currently producing less than 4% of global emissions, "carbon-cutting" goals have limited relevance, with most African nations focused instead on creating jobs and economic growth.
With international investment already lacking in Africa - and some countries burned by disappointing promises of cash from sluggish carbon markets - many African countries are struggling to see net-zero policy as a priority, they added.