Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|November 15, 2021|4 Minutes|In Editor's Desk

Editors Desk

"Africa should weep over COP out."

Alok Sharma, the president of COP 26, wept at the weekend as the watched  the emerging economic powerhouses of India and China water down his Glasgow climate pact – yet, it is Africa that should be shedding tears.

Sharma said in Glasgow: “ I apologize for the way this process has unfolded I am deeply sorry.”

I am sure he is, but it is Africa that will end up even sorrier if damaging climate change is not arrested.

For the brunt of global warming will be felt painfully in Africa – yet again, the world sneezes and Africa gets triple pneumonia.

The threat hangs over Africa like a plague of buzzing, hungry, locusts. Parts of Africa will increase temperature by up to 2% in the current century-faster than most other countries and the rainfall will be disrupted  leaving the raising crops, in parts of the continent, out of the question.

On a more violent note, the seas will rise around the African coast washing away homes and there will be more cyclones tearing havoc through the land.

I could write all night about the threats to Africa, but safe to say what the continent faces – compared to other parts of the world – is immense and destructive.

That was why the “phasing out” of coal was so vital to this agreement and why activists from Africa were so disappointed by the more wishy washy  “phasing down” in the final agreement.

Coal is the harbinger of doom when it comes to the hopes of keeping temperatures down around the world. Its emissions belch out into the air as a big contributor to global warming.

The finance institutions and the chattering classes around the world are supporting an end to coal financing in a bid to cut down on big polluters like huge, belching, coal fired power stations.  In the wake of the end to finance deal, Vietnam surprised many analysts by saying it was no longer building coal-fired power stations.

Try telling that to China that has more than a 1000 coal-fired power stations – more than anyone else and more than four times that of the United States. It continues to finance them and other projects elsewhere, even though it is a signatory to the end coal finance agreement.

A reduction in the use of fossil fuel may help Africa breathe, but would spell disaster for the factories and foundries of the world’s largest economy.

India is in the same coal barge. According to Statista, it has 281 coal-fired power stations to keep its one billion people able to flick on a switch. Many of these huge power stations were built on the coast of India so they can import steam coal by sea from countries like South Africa to keep pace with 1,423 TW of electricity.

So, neither India, nor China, will be looking to phase out coal anytime soon.

A crumb of comfort at COP26 was the words of SepiGolzani-Munro the acting head of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

“Businesses respond. They are more fleet-footed than governments give them for, but they respond to these frameworks,” says he.

Never a truer word spoken. Now is the time for smart entrepreneurs to come up with new ways to keep the lights on without destroying the environment. Over to you – the billionaires of tomorrow.