Namibia pays for others’ gas emissions

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Namibia pays for others’ gas emissions

Despite Namibia’s minimal contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 at a mere 0.03%, a combination of physical and societal characteristics makes the nation extremely vulnerable to the negative effects of global climate change. 

As one of the biggest and driest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia experiences a wide variety of weather patterns ranging from frequent droughts to flash floods, irregular rainfall and extreme temperature changes. All these instances contribute to overall water scarcity. 

“The country’s reliance on its endowment of natural resources including land, minerals and biodiversity, its high income inequality and poverty, and its high exposure to external shocks, increases its vulnerability to climate change. 

Closing the gaps of social and economic inequalities, as well as the need to protect natural wealth, are at the core of green growth,” the African Development Bank (AfDB) shared in its country focus report (CFR). 

The CFR for Namibia reviews the role of the private sector in the financing of climate change and green growth. It further explores the scope for harnessing natural capital to finance adaptation and mitigation to climate change, and to promote green growth.

The bank noted that green growth and climate action are important for Namibia if it is to attain its national development vision of achieving high-income status by 2030. 

The country continues to implement policies which aim to enhance its resilience to climate change. These include the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDC) Implementation Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2030, amongst others. 

The AfDB noted that Namibia will require roughly US$5.3 billion (more than N$100 billion) over 10 years, of which 10% will be unconditional and primarily come from local public sources, to meet the new NDC requirements.  Therefore, obtaining foreign assistance is necessary to achieve the 90%.

To close the climate financing gap by 2030, the report further urged that private climate finance flows may need to rise by at least 7% annually.  Given the existing patterns in international private climate finance flows to Namibia, the private sector is anticipated to provide only 2% of the country’s climate funding needs. 

Therefore, the bank stated that it is necessary to step up efforts to access private funding. This means the private sector’s financial contributions would need to increase by US$44 million a year, or 7.2% of GDP, to reach 25% participation, which reflects a rather conservative scenario.  

Meanwhile, South West Africa National Union (Swanu) parliamentarian Tangeni Iijambo said Namibian lawmakers have a huge role to play in addressing climate change, mitigation and adaptation in developing, scrutinising and passing legislation, and being accountable to communities. 

“This means new laws must be passed across the world, both to introduce new forms of raising finance based on the principle of ‘polluter-pays’, which can also help to drive down emissions, as well as introducing legislation which ensures finances to address losses and damages, and gets to affected communities who need it most,” he said in the National Assembly recently. 

President Hage Geingob noted that about 10 years ago from the Paris Climate Summit in 2015, there were promises made by the developed nations regarding climate change. However, none of these promises have yet materialised. 

“We are promised they are going to do something, but nothing comes out of it. There were those who are emitting these damaging things. They are supposed to stand up, and they are rich countries, but they’re not doing that. They should correct the mistakes they’ve made. It is a bad thing,” Geingob said last month during his technical stopover in France. He made these statements during a lecture about climate change and global governance.