By Vishal Gulati
Nairobi, March 14 (IANS) France will commit 500 million euros more to the International Solar Alliance (ISA), President Emmanuel Macron said at the third One Planet Summit on reversing climate change, here on Thursday.
Macron also declared creation of a 10 million euros facility to protect the biodiversity in Africa.
"The best response to the climate change is not words but actions. The world could no longer be content with words," Macron said at the summit. "We can no longer be content with words. We know, and for a long time," he said.
The ISA is an initiative by India and France to accelerate the technology-driven renewable energy transformation of the world's electricity markets.
With the backing of nearly 121 member-countries rich in solar energy, 50 have, so far, ratified the ISA Framework Agreement.
ISA became a treaty-based inter-governmental international organisation on December 6, 2017, registered under Article 102 of the United Nations Charter.
"I don't believe in the desperate camp or the cynical camp. We are part of the determined camp. We need to put biodiversity at the heart of each of our actions," the French President said.
This was the first regional edition of One Plant Summit, co-chaired by Macron and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta, and also the World Bank and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.
Focusing on Africa's environmental challenges, the summit was held on the sidelines of the Fourth UN Environment Assembly that saw assembly of over 4,700 delegates, comprising tech experts, academics, scientists and civil society activists from 170 countries here.
"Our youth says, 'You are not going fast enough.' She is right to get impatient, because we were too late. We make new commitments and invent a new model together," said Macron, who reached Kenya on Wednesday in the last leg of his tour of three East African countries.
The French President asked, "Is it necessary to replicate the model of 20 years ago to bring energy to all the villages in Africa? The answer is no."
"We must change our model and put the environment at the heart of the market economy. We must put the fight against global warming and biodiversity at the heart of each investment, business choices, the choices of our countries and our cities. I will take all my share," Macron said.
"The One Planet Summit is a way to collectively organise our action and to create a coalition of initiatives, actions, transformations," he said.
World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva said Africa had so much potential for renewable. "It's also here we see the most dramatic effects of climate change. We must urgently invest in adaptation at the same time we support the shift to low carbon growth."
The World Bank Group is stepping up its climate support for Africa. It will provide $22.5 billion for Africa for climate adaptation and mitigation for 2021-2025.
This is more than double the commitment to climate-related projects over the last five years.
The funding is part of the World Bank Group's '2025 Targets to Step Up Climate Action', launched in December 2018 during the UN's Climate Change Conference in Poland.
It will help African countries manage the risks of a changing climate, while unlocking new investment opportunities.
(Vishal Gulati is in Nairobi at the invitation of UN Environment. He can be contacted at email@example.com)