Climate Change: Africa is Leading With its Own Plan, Says AfDB

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“Africans are leading with their own plans for climate change, and they have called for additional financing instruments that respond directly to their priorities,”  African Development Bank (AfDB) Vice President, Bobby Pittman, said at the 2011 Climate Investment Funds Partnership Forum. The AfDB is hosting the event from 24-25 June 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Addressing 250 participants at the opening session, the Vice President added: “Looking ahead, it is becoming clear that future climate financing could benefit from instruments that are open to all countries and can be adjusted to respond to country priorities and implementation capacity; and a clear allocation of resources per implementing agency, which can be revised based on the pace of execution of projects and programs.”

Given that nearly 600 million people in Africa remain without access to modern energy, broadening the supply of low-cost environmentally-friendly energy to more people and developing renewable forms of energy to diversify the sources for generating electric power are major Bank priorities. About USD 1 billion is invested in renewable energy in Africa yearly, according to the International Energy Agency. Over the next three years, the AfDB intends to invest more than USD 3.5 billion in improving energy access, with more than a third of the amount going to renewable energy.

The African Development Bank is responding to climate change with a clear focus on the areas that are most critical for Africa and on expanding Africa’s access to international climate change financing, both through global mechanisms like the Climate Investment Funds and dedicated internal mechanisms design to meet specific African challenges.

“Despite all of these efforts, the bottom line is that there is an urgent need to improve access to climate finance at the scale required for transformational impact in Africa and put in place mechanisms that can best respond to Africa’s needs,” Vice President Pittman concluded.

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