NAIROBI, Feb. 5 — The UN Environment Program (UNEP) on Friday urged African nations to integrate the fight against COVID-19 and climate change response.
Richard Munang, Africa regional climate change coordinator at UNEP said that the region needs to leverage a strategic approach to climate action in order to accelerate socio-economic growth.
“This will help the nations to rebuild better, more inclusive, competitive, and sustainable post-COVID-19 economies,” Munang said at a virtual briefing in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
He appealed to African nations to adopt a green pandemic recovery approach by giving priority to investments that lower carbon emissions but drive the much-needed socio-economic development in the continent.
Munang said the approach is capable of unlocking income-generating opportunities, hastening post-COVID-19 recovery while cutting carbon emissions by up to 25 percent by 2030.
He called on African nations to embrace and guide the informal sector to leverage climate action as an investment opportunity, and a source of enterprising actions that unlock social, environmental, and financial dividends.
“The informal sector, that forms 80 percent of work in the continent will therefore become investors friendly from the green pandemic recovery dimension,” said Munang.
He said that to realize tangible development, green pandemic recovery must be premised as a source of food security, income and enterprise opportunities, and expansion of macroeconomic growth.
“With the looming threat of emergencies such as COVID-19, we need to act quickly and decisively to salvage the situation by embracing green pandemic recovery reality in Africa,” said Munang.