AfDB to Showcase its Green Record at UN Climate Change Conference in Durban

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) will showcase its strong record in supporting climate-friendly projects at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, taking place between 28 November and 9 December 2011.

Now in its 17th edition, the conference is colloquially known as ‘COP 17’, short for its official title of Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

A new feature at the climate talks will be the Africa Pavilion, a joint initiative from the AfDB, the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa. The pavilion will for the first time bring together all African events at the conference. It will be a unique opportunity to reflect on the design of the Africa Green Fund and of a tailored financing platform for Africa that can benefit all African countries when it comes to financing the battle on climate change on the continent.

With its several side-events, forums, conferences and consultations, the Africa Pavilion will help achieve a better understanding of what constitutes acceptable design and access parameters for the Africa Green Fund and its function under the umbrella of the Green Climate Fund.

COP 17 is a milestone for climate change negotiations which began with the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development or “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, where climate change negotiations were kick-started and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opened for signing by UN member states.

The AfDB recognizes climate change as a cross-cutting issue and part and parcel of its wider development plan for Africa.  Some of the major projects and funds include the Congo Basin Forests Fund; the Climate Investment Fund; the African Water Fund; the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Kenya; the Inga Dam study in the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Souapiti Hydropower project in Guinea, and the Ain Beni Mathar Solar Thermal Power Plant in Morocco.

The areas of AfDB-sponsored activities across Africa include dam-building, irrigation and water harvesting; solar, wind and hydro power; agricultural improvement; clean energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency; forestry management and reforestation, and sustainable transport.

COP-17 is being held on a continent widely believed to be bearing the brunt of climate change, while at the same time being relatively blameless - Africa contributes only four percent of global greenhouse gases. There is much hope and optimism that the negotiations will move forward significantly on some of the important elements of the multilateral climate framework, building on agreements at the last conference in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.