Africa could do much more to tackle climate change through the establishment of a continent-specific green fund, says Aly Abou-Sabaa, chairman of the Climate Change Coordination Committee at the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Mr. Abou-Sabaa made this comment on 8 June 2011 during a press briefing organized during the 2011 AfDB Annual Meetings in Lisbon, Portugal.
Climate variability already has significant economic costs throughout Africa, with models Africa could lose GDP of between 1.5 - 3% by 2030. “Africa is the continent most impacted by climate change, said Mr Abou-Sabaa.
He added that the AfDB has been proactive in tackling this pressing issue: it has adopted a result oriented Climate Change Action Plan that permeates all Bank operations to address mitigation, adaptation and financing.
This action plan rests on three pillars: low-carbon development, climate change adaptation and establishment of a climate change funding platform to be implemented through a mix of several financing options.
The African Development Bank has supported several concrete initiatives for adaptation to climate change and mitigation in agriculture, water, transportation, and energy all over Africa. They include the Buseraka power station in Uganda; the Sahanivotry power station in Madagascar; the thermo-solar station in Morrocco; the fight against desertification project in Mali and a number of forest projects through the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF).
However, with a multi-billion dollar price tag, climate change adaptation and mitigation actions in Africa cannot be fully realized with current financing.
Adaptation and mitigation come at a costs. Recent estimates have put the incremental adaptation/mitigation costs and ressources needed to put Africa on a low-carbon growth pathway at about USD 22 billion to USD 31 billion a per year by 2015 and USD 52 billion to USD 68 billion per year by 2030.
Financial leverage is needed, says Mr Abou-Sabaa, so the AfDB is thus advocating for a special fund for Africa: the Africa Green Fund.
Hosted at the African Development Bank, this fund would provide for the development of a low carbon and climate-resilient economy, making Africa a pivotal partner in the global effort to fight the effects of climate change, Said Mr Abou-sabaa
The Bank is currently consulting with partners to achieve a better understanding of what constitutes acceptable design and access parameters for the Fund and its function under the Umbrella of the Green Climate Fund.