The African Development Bank (AfDB) has partnered the Global Center on Adaptation to raise over $25 billion to promote climate-smart digital technologies to would enhance agriculture and food security.
The partnership also established the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) aimed at supporting the development of climate resilient urban infrastructure.
The President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, at the launch of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) report on adaptation trends in Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, said the $25 billion may seem like a lot of money but largely inadequate to meet Africa’s adaptation needs estimated to be at $7 billion to $15 billion per year.
Adesina also called for increased finance for adaptation in Africa, given that much of climate funding goes towards mitigation.
“With only a few days to go until the world comes together in Glasgow for COP26, there couldn’t be a better moment to present Africa’s climate needs to the world,” Adesina said.
According to him, the initiative also has its sights set on job creation and empowering the youth to become entrepreneurs in climate adaptation and resilience.
He added: “In addition, it will roll out innovative financial initiatives for Africa to address the nexus of climate change and COVID-19.”
The Kenyan President, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, warned in his remarks at the launch that Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) risks contracting by up to 30 per cent by the year 2050, in the absence of urgent climate change adaptation action.
“While it is relatively more difficult to design and implement adaptation projects and while fewer resources are currently available for adaptation, we should not lose sight of the fact that adaptation is, without doubt, smart economics,” he added.
Leaders said developed countries had provided well below the threshold for Africa’s adaptation needs.
In his inaugural annual lecture on Adaptation Acceleration Day, GCA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Patrick Verkooijen, underscored the urgent need to combat climate change and its impacts.
“Even if the Paris Climate Agreement goals are achieved, the economic costs in Africa will be enormous. Climate change is a new and significant negative pressure on the sovereign credit ratings of African countries. As impacts increase, if we don’t adapt effectively, these will increase the cost of borrowing. That would reduce the continent’s investment potential,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Mrs. Patricia Espinosa, echoed the message regarding the importance of finance for adaptation.
“Key to success in adaptation and resilience — like so many other issues related to climate change — is adequate finance,” she said.