The Summit for a New Global Financial Pact organized by France this year stressed that climate justice requires a reform of our current economic and financial model; we need to move from words to deeds. Unfortunately, the most important climate funds are so restrictive in how they operate and how they are allocated that they exclude the economic players on the ground. The Green Climate Fund, for example, directly finances only large organizations, most of them international, and requires an accreditation mechanism that can take up to 3 years to be eligible for funding. Local structures that are closest to the needs are not eligible. It’s an anachronism.
The progress of the “loss and damage” fund is a source of hope. It is intended to compensate developing countries, which emit only a minority of greenhouse gas emissions but bear the brunt of the consequences. This is an opportunity not to be missed. It is crucial to include the action of local SSE players and to devote substantial financial resources to them: associations, cooperatives, and social enterprises that empower local populations and promote sustainable development without pitting ecology, social impact, and the economy against each other.
The potential of the SSE is immense, particularly in Africa, which is on the front line of the climate crisis, but also a pioneer in social and ecological innovations. Today, the African continent suffers 35% of the human losses caused by the climate crisis, even though it emits less than 5% of greenhouse gases. Solutions are being promoted by the local SSE fabric, but they still need to be scaled up. For example, the cooperatives of small vanilla producers in Madagascar enable value to be shared while spreading more environmentally friendly farming practices. Restoring degraded mangrove areas along the coast of Cameroon creates jobs for local associations in the most vulnerable communities. In Casamance, in the south of Senegal, business incubators are seeing an increasing number of projects with a social and environmental impact, combining economic profitability with general interest benefits.