AfDB poised to enhance access to additional climate finance for African countries
To meet the full scale of the global climate challenge and seize the opportunities at hand, domestic efforts must be scaled up and simultaneously leveraged through an international framework that provides incentives. Combined, accelerated action and increased ambition will help advance sustainable development, especially in Africa which suffers most from the effects of climate change. Therefore, discussions at very high level took place on Monday, September 22, on the eve of the UN Climate Summit in New York. The African Development Bank (AfDB) participated in high-level meetings about financing opportunities for a climate-smart Africa including Clim-Dev Special Fund and UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative.
The Clim-Dev Africa programme convened a high-level discussion "Moving against the tide: Africa rising to seize climate change opportunities in water, food and energy security", chaired by Carlos Lopez, Executive Secretary of UN Economic Commission for Africa, and moderated by Jakaya Kikwete, President of the Republic of Tanzania and Chairman of Committee of Heads of States and Governments on climate change. Formers Presidents John Kufuor of Ghana and Mary Robinson of Ireland and both UN special envoys on climate change also attended.
The representatives of African countries, including President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, recognized the global efforts made to improve access to climate finance in Africa and that significant results have been registered in recent years. However the current financial flows remain insufficient to meet Africa’s actual needs and African countries called for increased access climate finance. African representatives also insisted on the need for action towards securing a legally-binding global climate agreement on curbing carbon emissions at COP21 in December 2015 in Paris, with a binding effect from 2020. They also explored the potential for a nexus approach in assuring sustainable water, food and energy security for a climate-smart continent and reflected on how to make the Clim-Dev Africa Special Fund (CDSF), hosted by the AfDB, an enabler to building climate resilience on the continent. The CDSF is now effective with support from the European Union (EU), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Nordic Development Fund totaling over €28 million.
Alex Rugamba, Director of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department at the AfDB, insisted "climate change is not just a threat; it is an opportunity for the continent to sustainably grow cleaner and greener." He added, "many African countries have already embarked on this nexus approach, in the form of green economic development strategies.”
Also on Monday, the UN-led initiative Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) held a whole series of high-level discussions on its implementation. Partners of the initiative, including EU and US Power Africa, announced new commitments to catalyze investments to halve the global energy poverty. They previewed a plan to raise more than US $120 billion. In his intervention, Alex Rugamba, from the AfDB, host of the SE4ALL Africa Hub and co-founding partner of Power Africa, underlined the importance of the announced commitments and acknowledged the progress made by a growing number of African countries toward SE4ALL objectives.
The AfDB is playing a key role as financier, partner and advisor to African countries to assist them in enhancing access to available resources, as well as to capitalize on future financing opportunities. The mobilization of US $768 million for mitigation in 2013 – more than any other institution on the continent – contributes to sustainably address infrastructure and energy needs on the continent.