The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved on April 16 in Tunis, the creation of the Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF), a bilateral thematic trust fund to support African countries in their transition to climate-resilient and low-carbon development. The AfDB will host and manage the ACCF, which was created with a 4.725 million euro contribution from Germany for an initial three-year period. The aim is to scale-up to a multi-donor trust fund as soon as at least one new donor commits to join.
Following the Board’s decision, the Director of the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department and Chairman of the Bank’s Climate Change Coordination Committee, Alex Rugamba, explained how critical the ACCF will be for African countries. “Africa is the most vulnerable continent to the impacts of climate change, yet the region receives a very small share of climate finance as compared to other continents. I strongly believe it is the responsibility of the Bank to help African countries access international climate finance to support their transition towards climate smart development. This fund will help facilitate countries’ access to the financing they need to protect their economies and environmental assets in the face of climate change,” he said.
At the international level, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has confirmed that 50% of its total allocation should target adaptation to climate change, and that the most vulnerable countries – primarily in African countries – will be given priority. “There is a great opportunity for the Bank to catalyze and channel more climate finance to Africa. The Bank will continue supporting the African members of the GCF Board ahead of its next meeting in May, and we are already working on designing a partnership with the GCF for supporting African countries to prepare to access climate finance,” Rugamba added.
Many countries on the continent are ill-prepared to access international climate finance and need to devise plans to build a more climate-resilient and low carbon future. The scope of the ACCF is broad enough to allow for a variety of activities that countries need for the transition to climate smart development, with the aim of generating transformational change in the medium to long term. Specific areas of intervention include: climate finance readiness; climate change and green growth mainstreaming; preparation and financing of adaptation and mitigation projects; knowledge management and information sharing related to climate change; capacity building; preparation of climate resilient and low carbon strategies and policies; analytical work related to green growth; advocacy; and outreach. The first call of proposals is expected to take place within the next two months, and will focus on climate finance readiness.
ACCF grant recipients may include African Governments, NGOs, research institutions, and regional institutions; grants will be either executed by the recipients themselves, or by the Bank on their behalf.
In line with the AfDB’s strategy for mobilizing additional resources, the ACCF will complement the Bank’s own resources as well as the multilateral funds for which the Bank is an implementing agency. The Bank is progressively mainstreaming climate change mitigation and adaptation into its development activities. In addition, its 2013-2022 strategy places an emphasis on promoting inclusive and transition to green growth.