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Harris of the US seeks billions of dollars for climate resilience in Africa

LUSAKA, Zambia: US Vice President Kamala Harris is promoting US$7 billion in private sector investments to help Africa prepare for the impacts of climate change.

The announcement comes as she wraps up a week-long trip to the continent on Saturday (April 1). Harris plans to visit a farm outside Lusaka, where workers are using new techniques and technologies to grow more produce, part of her effort to demonstrate ways to secure supplies. food supply despite global warming.

“The United States is committed to implementing these types of innovative solutions to support climate adaptation, mitigation, and recovery,” she said Friday during a press conference with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema.

The $7 billion announcement is the most important item Harris has revealed during his trip, but much more work will be needed to complete.

For example, Africa Parks, a nonprofit group, has committed to raising US$1.25 billion over the next seven years to expand its conservation program. Another organization, the One Acre Fund, plans to raise US$100 million to plant a billion trees by the end of the decade.

The politics of climate change are complex in Africa, which contributes far less to greenhouse gas emissions overall than in more affluent parts of the world like the United States. According to the International Energy Agency, 43% of Africans will not have access to electricity by 2021, and recent blackouts have caused frustration.

In Ghana, she was asked at a press conference how the West can demand that Africa become greener and give up its use of natural resources. And she was pressed about whether rich nations would provide $100 billion annually to help poor countries cope with climate change, a pledge made under the climate accord. post-Paris.

It is “critically important that, as global leaders, we all speak to the truth about the disparities that exist in terms of cause and effect, and that we address those,” Harris said. that difference”. And she says there are opportunities in the “clean energy economy” that could help generate growth in Africa.

In terms of funds, President Joe Biden has requested $11 billion in his proposed budget to meet commitments in the Paris accord.

“We’re waiting for Congress to do its job,” Harris said.

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