Spanish PM urges global climate action for African continent

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has called on global leaders to prioritize solutions to the climate change crisis threatening food security in African countries and the effects on the continent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

During an official visit to South Africa, Sanchez met with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa a day after meeting with recently elected Kenyan President William Ruto in Nairobi.

His visit to South Africa, Africa’s most developed country, and Kenya, East Africa’s economic hub, comes days before the African continent hosts the flagship United Nations climate conference known as COP27, which will be held in Egypt. Experts say the African continent contributes the least to global warming but will suffer from it the most.

Sanchez said the conference should deliver tangible solutions for Africa. Ramaphosa agreed. “An important part of our collective response to climate change is increased support for green, sustainable energy policies and technologies,” the South African president said.

Sanchez said Spain would make available up to 2.1 billion euros funding to South Africa over the next five years, which will be invested in various sectors including renewable energy. South Africa is heavily reliant on coal for its troubled electricity system that often leaves parts of the country without power for hours at a time with rolling blackouts.

The Spanish prime minister also seeks to strengthen economic ties. His delegation includes Spanish business leaders.

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