AfDB and sister institutions committed to move forward on the sustainable transport agenda with US $175 bn in financing
The historic one-day UN Climate Summit opened on September 23 in New York City with 125 heads of state in attendance. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US President Barack Obama urged all nations – developed and developing – to agree on a global deal before the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris. They also called for more climate finance investments to develop a climate-smart planet. Specifically, the African Development Bank (AfDB) participated actively in the discussions about transport, a key sector in reducing CO2 emissions and made specific pledges on behalf of sister multilateral development banks.
The transport sector accounts for over 90% of primary oil demand and is responsible for 23% of energy-related CO2 emissions. Africa has comparably low CO2 emissions from transport: 215 kilograms CO2/per capita in 2008, representing 25 times lower than the world average. However this figure is expected to increase with the rise in Africa’s total oil demand. The AfDB places high importance on sustainable transport and services in Africa.
Alex Rugamba, AfDB Director, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, highlighted the commitment by MDBs of US $175 billion in financing over 10 years for sustainable transport in the new MDBs joint statement. This commitment was commended by Jean-Louis Bianco, special adviser to the French Minister of Ecology, Environment and Energy, ahead of the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris. The French representative also encouraged transport stakeholders to do their best.
The AfDB places high importance on sustainable transport and services in Africa. The Bank invested more than US $1.7 billion in 2013 in the sector with the intention of increasing focus on developing sound urban transport systems, greater modal shifts from motorized transport and greener sources of energy in the years to come.
Regarding climate finance, the UN and the World Bank underlined the rising interest of financiers for a more climate-resilient world. The UN Secretary General urged the countries to commit money for the initial capitalization of the new Green Climate Fund. A few countries like Mexico, Korea, Germany and France started Wednesday with more than US $2 billion of total pledges. The President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, quoted the US $24 billion in climate finance dedicated in 2013 by the MDBs including the African Development Bank according to the newly launched joint MDBs report. The tremendous success of green bonds was also mentioned. The amount has doubled since January 2014 from US $10 billion to US $25 billion. To date, outstanding AfDB Green Bonds amount to US $993 million against a total eligible project pipeline of US $1.6 billion.