By Daniel Essiet
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said the impact of climate change on the continent could rise to $50 billion each year by 2040, with a further three per cent decline each year in gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050.
The bank conveyed this during a virtual Leaders’ Dialogue it convened in partnership with the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA.org) and the Africa Adaptation Initiative.
More than 30 heads of state and global leaders rallied behind the bold new Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP). The programme’s objective is to mobilise $25 billion to accelerate climate change adaptation actions across Africa.
AfDB President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said: “With our partners, we intend to mobilise $25 billion in financing for the success of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme. It is time for developed countries to meet their promise of providing $100 billion annually for climate finance. And a greater share of this should go to climate adaptation. So far, more than $20 trillion have gone into COVID-19 stimulus packages in developed countries. The International Monetary Fund’s plan to issue $650 billion of new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to boost global reserves and liquidity will be enormously helpful to support green growth and climate financing for economic recovery. I applaud the leadership of the US government and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, especially, on this big push.”
President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and African Union (AU) Chairperson, invited his fellow leaders to: “revisit our climate ambitions and accelerate the implementation of our actions planned under our national priorities. To do this we will need to focus on actions to adapt to the impacts of climate change, these include nature-based solutions, energy transition, enhanced transparency framework, technology transfer and climate finance.”
The AAAP is built to address the impacts of Covid-19, climate change, and the continent’s worst recession in 25 years. This is why today’s unprecedented show of support for the financing of African adaptation is so significant.
The AAP, as launched by the AfDB and the Global Center on Adaptation, revolves around several transformative initiatives: Climate Smart Digital Technologies for Agriculture and Food Security aims to scale up access to climate-smart digital technologies for at least 30 million farmers in Africa.
The African Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator will scale up investment for climate-resilient urban and rural infrastructure in key sectors. These include water, transport, energy, and waste management for a circular economy. Empowering Youth for Entrepreneurship and Job Creation in Climate Resilience will provide one million youths with skills for climate adaptation and support 10,000 small and medium size youth-led businesses to create green jobs. Innovative Financial Initiatives for Africa will help close adaptation finance gaps, enhance access to existing finance and mobilise new public and private sector investment.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said: “As well as facing the health and economic crisis caused by the pandemic, countries in Africa are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Tackling this dual challenge requires putting adaptation at the heart of Africa’s recovery – so countries build resilience to climate change and spur economic activity. This pandemic has shown us the importance of investing in people. And that is so, so very valuable for Africa, which has a fast-growing young population. This begins by improving education, healthcare, and food security, and in that context, I warmly welcome the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme.”
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