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Global climate deal could transform Africa’s progress, according to African Development Bank

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Climate change poses a severe threat to Africa, but it also offers a huge opportunity, according to a new paper from the African Development Bank. The paper, Africa’s Climate Opportunity: Adapting and Thriving, explains how the COP21 climate talks in Paris in December can help Africa deal with the threat and seize the opportunity.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time in development. COP21 presents a unique opportunity to meet that challenge,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group. “The voice of Africa is crucial to ensure the success of COP21. And the voice of Africa will be heard.”

In Paris, the international community is expected to finalise a new global climate agreement and decide how to finance it, at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21).

Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet it produces only 4 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. Countries that caused global warming have a moral responsibility to help Africa adapt to its effects.

But the new AfDB paper argues that Africa can do much more than adapt. Adapting to climate change while minimising emissions can help drive the economic transformation that Africa needs.

Climate-resilient, low-carbon development can boost growth, create jobs and lift people out of poverty. It can also bridge Africa’s crippling energy deficit: 620 million Africans lack access to modern energy.

To take advantage of this opportunity, Africa needs investment; the new paper argues that COP21 must deliver the finance that will unlock Africa’s potential.

“The current climate financing architecture is not providing the finance Africa needs,” Adesina said. “Much more needs to be done to increase Africa’s access to climate finance.”

Developed countries have committed to mobilising US $100 billion a year from 2020 in climate finance for developing countries. “To meet the $100 billion per annum target by 2020, we must improve the predictability and mobilisation of finance,” Adesina said.

In the paper, the African Development Bank spells out how it is investing its own resources and mobilising new sources of finance. The paper also shows why wider international cooperation is crucial – and needs to be ambitious, efficient and properly financed.

Adesina recently announced that the African Development Bank would nearly triple its annual climate financing to reach $5 billion a year by 2020. AfDB’s climate spending will increase to 40% of its total new investments by 2020.

The African Development Bank has committed almost $7 billion to support climate-resilient and low-carbon development in Africa in the past four years. Its energy investments last year will deliver power that is 90% generated from renewable sources. The Bank also supports the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the Africa Adaptation Initiative, both endorsed by the African Union heads of state and government.

As well as increasing its own climate financing, the AfDB is pursuing public and private co-financing opportunities.

To download the full publication:

For more information on COP21, visit:

Official hashtag: #AfricaCOP21


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