Africa’s energy transition will fail without more green finance – Bank of America

By Xolisa Phillip, in Johannesburg

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Posted on December 23, 2021 11:25

Africa is one of the regions that will carry an immense burden in the quest for net-zero emissions by 2050 as pushed at the COP26 climate summit. Despite the influx of enquiries, Africa’s share of green or ESG-themed transactions is less than 1%, Bank of America’s Natalie Mordi-Hillaert reveals.

In the past 18 months, there’s been increased interest in environment, social and governance (ESG)-themed financing by African borrowers, Mordi-Hillaert tells The Africa Report.

Mordi-Hillaert is privy to the numbers because she is “responsible for the bank’s ESG Capital Markets efforts in the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] region” and has “been at the bank for over 12 years.” She says their role “in this space [green energy] has morphed over the years as the concept of ESG moves into mainstream”.

UN Assistant General Secretary Ibrahima Diong, who attended COP26 and was at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) in Durban, highlighted the difficulties inherent in the transition to green power for Africa.

In particular, the urban-rural divide in energy access and the parlous state of government-owned power companies – and the nuanced nature of the conversation for the region.

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