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Africa urges a spotlight on climate finance as the world heads to COP28

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 15:09
Africa urges a spotlight on climate finance as the world heads to COP28

(AfDB) - The African Development Bank will mobilize financing for climate action at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, COP28, and amplify Africa’s calls for robust commitments by wealthy countries to meet the continent’s urgent needs in addressing climate change.

The Bank Group, led by its President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, will launch and cement several climate action initiatives during the global event taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12.

The delegation, including vice presidents, senior management and sector experts, will aim to increase the Bank’s visibility within the global climate change community, and mobilize additional resources for climate funds and facilities.

During the two-week conference, the Bank will advance partnerships and resource mobilization for its Africa Climate Risk Insurance Facility for Adaptation (ACRIFA) as a vital tool to raise the billions needed to foster climate adaptation, resilience, and sustainable development within Africa’s agricultural sector.

The Bank will also join its partners in launching the Global Battery Energy Storage System Consortium, a joint initiative with the Rockefeller Foundation, in which the Bank plays a leading role through its 10 GW Desert-to-Power solar energy initiative. The Consortium aims to secure 5 GW of commitments by the end of 2024 and mobilize more than $4 billion to significantly reduce the cost of renewable energy technologies.

During COP28, the African Development Bank will also cement funding commitments for its $10-billion Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa (AGIA).

In addition, the Bank will leverage COP28 to advance the Bridgetown initiative, a climate and development plan, by hosting a high-level session to advocate for channelling IMF special drawing rights to multilateral development banks and announce pledges.

The COP annual meetings are the single global platform for nations to negotiate an internationally agreed way forward to tackle climate change. The gathering also brings together major stakeholders engaged in climate change: governments, the private sector, youth and civil society. This year’s conference has the theme ‘Unite, Act, Deliver’.

Africa, which accounts for less than 4% of global carbon emissions, is seeking more climate finance from wealthy, high-polluting countries, including through a new "loss and damage" fund due to be set up at COP28 and carbon taxes on sectors like fossil fuels, maritime transport and aviation.

In its latest African Economic Outlook report, the Bank estimates that the continent requires as much as $2.8 trillion through 2030 to implement its climate commitments set out in countries’ national targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

However, Africa’s climate finance inflows remain very low, at 3% of global climate finance, and tend to focus on small-scale, fragmented and uncoordinated operations, primarily in middle-income countries. 

Ahead of the global meeting, Dr Adesina called for bold and transformative action to prioritize Africa. “The global climate financial architecture must be changed to prioritize the needs of Africa. At the national level, we must accelerate actions on climate adaptation,” he said in his opening speech at the recent Africa Climate Summit.

That is why the African Development Bank has committed to providing $25 billion towards climate finance by 2025. We have also launched the African Adaptation Acceleration Program, together with the Global Center on Adaptation, the largest climate adaptation program in the world.

He added: “Africa is blessed with the largest sources of renewable energy in the world, renewables from solar, hydro, wind and geothermal. But we cannot power Africa with potential. We must fully unlock Africa’s renewable energy potential. That is why the African Development Bank is implementing the $20-billion Desert-to-Power initiative, to harness the power of solar and deliver electricity for 250 million people.”

COP28 will feature the first Global Stocktake that will provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, under which countries committed to setting targets, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), to contribute towards the Agreement's goal of limiting global warming. The stocktake aims to align efforts on climate action, including measures to bridge the gaps in progress.

The summit will also see the launch of the Africa and Middle East ‘Scaling-up Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation for Economic Development’ initiative. The program seeks to mobilize at least $10 billion to address the climate and food security nexus of the two regions. The Bank will contribute to this initiative via its flagship Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) program.

African experts are optimistic that the continent could become more resilient against climate change and food insecurity. With significant solar, hydro, and geothermal energy resources, it has the potential to meet its renewable energy needs and share them with other regions.

Pioneering interventions 

Since 2011, the Bank has deployed climate finance amounting to $23 billion, of which 80% comes from the Bank’s financing instruments. Co-financiers and external climate finance providers such as the Global Environment Facility, the Green Climate Fund, and the Climate Investment Funds provide the 20%.

The Bank is working with the Global Center on Adaptation to mobilize $25 billion to scale up climate-resilient actions under the Africa Adaptation Acceleration programme. So far, $4 billion has been raised for 43 projects in 36 countries in agriculture, resilient infrastructure, sustainable water and sanitation, youth and jobs, and innovative adaptation finance.

During COP27 in November last year, the Bank and its global partners launched the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa (AGIA) to boost the bankability of green infrastructure projects and generate up to $10 billion in investment opportunities for the private sector. The Bank has also rolled out several multi-pronged initiatives using technology to boost food production and nutrition across Africa. These include the SAPZs and the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT).

At COP28, the African Development Bank will help reshape the global narrative on key issues such as energy transition, nature-based solutions, adaptation finance, reform of multilateral development banks, carbon markets and restitution for loss and damage.

Follow COP28 on the following Bank channels:

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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