Cop15/Green business forum: Ivorian private sector invited to harness the resources of climate finance

As part of the Cop15 inaugurated on 9 May 2022, a business forum on climate finance was held at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire on Tuesday, chaired by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Promotion of SMEs.

One of the highlights of the second day (10 May) of Cop15 on Desertification and Drought, which has been taking place at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire since 9 May, was the Business Forum on Green Finance. Dozens of private sector actors from Côte d’Ivoire, Africa and several other countries around the world gathered in the hall with national, regional and international climate finance institutions to discuss the contribution of the private sector. This, in achieving the main challenges of this Cop. Namely, to curb the degradation and loss of arable land, and to intensify agricultural production while preserving forest resources.

For the Ivorian private sector, the aim was to consider the best strategies for mobilizing green finance for sustainable economic development in Côte d’Ivoire. This forum was chaired by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Promotion of SMEs, Souleymane Diarrassouba, who represented Prime Minister Patrick Achi.

“In addition to the public sector, private sector actors and in particular SMEs and large companies are called upon to play their part in the ecological transition to the extent that they play a predominant role in job creation and wealth creation,” said Souleymane Diarrassouba.

According to the International Labor Organization, on 21and century faces two major challenges. On the one hand, the need to prevent climate change and the degradation of natural resources, and on the other, the obligation to ensure social development and decent work for all. It is therefore a question of reconciling the imperative obligation to protect the environment with the unavoidable need to create jobs and wealth, a source of poverty reduction.

“The appeal to the mobilization of green finance to finance the economic development of our countries seems to be a panacea. In this sense, the international community recommends the adoption of sustainable development, the green economy and the circular economy,” explains Souleymane Diarrassouba.

Also, according to the United Nations, about 12 million hectares of land are lost every year, and with it the potential production of 20 million tons of grain; and 1.5 billion people are affected by drought and desertification. And this, with economic losses estimated at at least $124 billion over the past two decades.

The Attraction of Jean-Marie Ackah

“In such a context, the commitment of the private sector, as a key player in this degradation, to combat desertification and drought poses a major challenge to the sustainable development of our economies. We must not forget that the agricultural sector alone produces 24% of greenhouse gas emissions and the industrial sector 11%,” says Souleymane Diarrassouba.

According to boss Jean-Marie Ackah, the Ivorian private sector is well aware of the situation. “The seriousness of the situation is not lost on anyone. Therefore, Ivorian private sector actors are fully committed to the side of the government, especially with regard to climate commitments and the implementation of the environmental aspects of Pnd 2021-2025. We now call on each other to respect the financing commitments made,” explains Jean-Marie Ackah.

Ultimately, a greater involvement of the private sector in the promotion of intensive agriculture, while preserving ecological performance, is therefore essential to ensure an adequate supply of products and thus ensure food sovereignty, “which will contribute to the fight against the rising food prices,” according to Souleymane Diarassouba.

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