AfDB Records Notable Achievements in Climate Change and Clean Energy Operations

21/04/2010
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Tunis, 21 April 2010 - Over the past one year, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has registered tremendous achievements in the area of climate change.  

The Bank has also demonstrated in many ways that it is a reliable leader in promoting clean energy investments in Africa. The Bank’s Board of Directors, in quick succession, approved strategic legal frameworks, programmes and funding mechanisms that reflect the urgency of the climate-related crisis facing the world in general and Africa in particular. In  recognition of the Bank’s active role in dealing with the ongoing climate issues, the AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, has been appointed to the High-Level Advisory Group on climate change by the UN Secretary General.

Some of the Bank’s achievements in the domain include the approval of the Climate Risk Management and Adaptation (CRMA) Strategy which was a follow-up to the Clean Energy Investment Framework (CEIF) for Africa.

The CEIF set the Bank’s and by implication the continent’s agenda for mainstreaming clean energy options, while promoting investments in accessing cleaner energies and strengthening energy efficiency in all sectors.

The CRMA Strategy on the other hand seeks to:

  • Improve the effectiveness of Bank-financed investments by reducing their vulnerability and promoting their resilience to climate variability and
  • Ensuring sustainability by building RMCs’ capacity and knowledge for addressing the challenges of climate change through policy and regulatory reforms. The CEIF and the CRMA are the Bank Group’s key policy framework on climate change.

In finance and resource mobilization, the AfDB also made notable milestones. Putting the success story on a global perspective it may be useful to draw attention to the 9 April 2010 Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) Chief Executives meeting in Luxembourg where they emphasized the need to combat climate change.  

The meeting mapped out realistic plans to mobilize substantial climate funding in accordance with the Copenhagen Accord. Specifically, President Kaberuka provided a strong African voice in the commitment made by developed countries to fast- track USD 30 billion financing to developing countries from 2010-12 . The case reviews and advocacy on the climate crisis resulted in pledges to mobilize additional resources by 2020 to finance big reductions in global emissions in order to ensure that increase in global temperatures stay below 2 degrees Celsius.

Africa as whole stands to benefit from the technical and global political support of the MDBs and the UN Agencies particularly in several UN climate talks, through the AfDB President’s membership of the UN High-level Advisory Group. The continent is also involved in international negotiations aimed at concluding a legally binding agreement on climate change at the UN Climate Change Conference scheduled to take place from 29 November to 10 December 2010 in Mexicon.   

One key issue arising from Copenhagen is the implementation of fast-track financing necessary to build confidence prior to agreeing a new international framework. Meanwhile the Bank is acquiring the additional experience and capacity to help deploy funding efficiently in support of low carbon, climate change-resilient investment in African countries.

Mobilising USD100 billion per year by 2020 is an important component of the Copenhagen Accord. The Bank, in partnership with other MDBs, fully recognizes the significant role the private sector could play in the emerging realities. One consensus reached at the recent Luxembourg meeting was on the importance of enhancing partnership in crisis situations. The MDBs pledged to continue harmonizing their approaches in the field of climate change, stepping up joint work towards enhancing knowledge management, sharing tools and methodologies in relation to vulnerability and climate risk assessments, while supporting countries with nationally appropriate mitigation actions, strategies and studies. 

Another indication of success is the AfDB’s USD 30 million commitment to the Clim-Dev Fund – a Climate Investment Fund which has taken remarkable financing decisions in favour of investment grants to Zambia as well as a pilot forestry programs in Burkina Faso and Ghana.

The Bank is also supporting knowledge management, research and capacity development initiatives through the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACAMAD).