Addressing a forum Tuesday, September 20, on mobilizing climate finance on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York, President Barrow said countries must increase investments and focus on saving and protecting lives and the ecosystems.
The president cited the recent flooding as “one of the worst” in Gambia‘s history, affecting more than 50,000 people due to a one meter rise in sea level in the country.
He added that the surge could submerge 50% of the city, including the country’s only deepwater seaport.
“Given that the impact of climate change could cost developing countries between 1% and 5% of their annual GDP, it is imperative to increase investments and focus on saving and protecting lives and ecosystems”, President Barrow detailed.
He added that climate finance is a challenge for many developing countries and investing in it could create difficult choices for many Africans.”Countries like The Gambia would have to forgo investments in poverty reduction and other development priorities to shift attention to climate action,” said President Barrow.
Highlighting how The Gambia has shown leadership and taken a progressive position on climate action, the President said the country has increased budget allocation to address, in particular, adaptation, resilience and climate mitigation, adding that the focus now is on mobilizing private sector investment to address the urgent needs of mit igation, especially in renewable energy.
While stating that the Gambia will be the host country for mitigation projects aimed at protecting the planet, President Barrow called for international support to realistically implement the 2050 Long Term Strategy for Climate Change.
The President raised several concerns, including the provision of predictable, long-term financing that enables capacity building and risk integration, and promotes climate finance for gender-sensitive climate action, as well as the delivery of effective and equitable financing.
He also noted that international climate finance institutions, especially multilateral funds, should review their procedures and policies, and prioritize the needs of developing countries.