Africa’s green recovery is in the world’s best interest — UNEP

Inger Andersen, the Executive Director for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has said that a green recovery for Africa is in the world’s best interest.

Andersen made the remarks in her speech at the recent launch of the African Union Green Recovery Action Plan by the African Union Commission (AU).

The AU Green Recovery Action Plan (AU GRAP) was developed by the Commission in 2020. 

The AU states that the Action Plan is intended to contribute towards the realization of AU member States Recovery plans as well as regional programmes such as the African Green Stimulus Programme.

The UNEP Director said that “With a young, vibrant and innovative population, Africa has the potential to be a global economic powerhouse. The continent holds 30 per cent of the world’s mineral reserves. 65 per cent of its arable land. It has massive renewable energy sources. Undercapitalized fisheries resources. From oceans and lakes to rainforests and peatlands, this continent of many nations and peoples holds all the cards.

“But the African dream is at risk. The COVID-19 linked recession has cost over 30 million jobs, driven poverty up and increased debt pressure. Meanwhile, environmental impacts – from climate extremes to biodiversity loss to pollution – are holding the continent back.

“The best way to tackle these issues simultaneously is to prioritize green investments in COVID-19 recovery. Investments that back the sustainable use of resources. That back clean and efficient energy, and nature-based solutions. That support sustainable agricultural practices. That create green and resilient cities. This is why AU’s Green Recovery Action Plan is so welcome.

“UNEP strongly supports the Action Plan, which compliments the Africa Green Stimulus Programme adopted by the African Ministers of Environment through AMCEN. Through the revamped UN Development Coordination system, UNEP is ready to work with African countries to shift the levers of change, in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063.

“Through greener fiscal policies and domestic spending. Through enhanced regulatory capacity. Through better connection to sustainable finance and infrastructure. All of which lie at the core of the recovery plan.”

 

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