AfDB President calls for action on climate change, access to energy in Africa at World Bank-IMF Meetings in Lima

10/10/2015
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The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund kicked off their annual meetings on Friday with their leaders giving impassioned pleas for member nations to keep macroeconomic policies in order and to continue to reduce poverty, even as the pace of global growth weakens.

The heads of the two multilateral lenders, in a ceremony held in a brand new conference centre in Lima, also called for greater efforts to end the gender gap and to forge a stronger response to the threat posed by climate change.

The officials unanimously pointed to one looming threat, that of global warming. African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina fully shares this view, as he participated in the Climate Finance Ministerial Meeting co-hosted by Peru and France. On Friday, Adesina said that controlling climate change is a non-negotiable priority, and announced that the Bank will triple its climate financing to reach $5 billion annually by 2020.

Speaking at the Ministerial Meeting on Climate Finance at the World Bank and IMF Annual Meeting in Lima, Peru, Adesina said that rising global temperatures are putting the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Africans at risk.

"Keeping the rise in temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius is non-negotiable," he said.

In 2009 in Copenhagen, developed countries committed to mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020 to support actions by developing nations to mitigate the damage from climate change. The meeting in Lima took place two months before the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"The current global climate financing architecture is not providing the finance Africa needs. Africa is shortchanged by climate change, and Africa is shortchanged by the lack of sufficient climate financing. This must change," Adesina said.

Adesina added that climate change hurts Africans in a number of sectors. He pointed out that rising temperatures are putting smallholder farmers in the Sahel at risk from frequent droughts that damage crops and livestock. Fishermen suffer when sea levels rise, he noted.

"The reality is that while Africa contributes less than 2% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, its populations suffer disproportionately from negative impacts of climate change," the AfDB President said.

He also called for improved access to clean cooking energy. The African Development Bank has launched a New Deal on Energy for Africa to bring more electricity to the continent.

"Over 625 million Africans do not have access to electricity. Africa is known by the darkness of its cities and rural areas. Africa is tired of being in the dark. This must change," he said.

Scientists say that the temperature on earth has warmed since 1880, leading to warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets and retreating glaciers, among other things.

The US Government's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says that "the current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years."