The African Development Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to mobilize resources to help African countries adopt and mitigate climate change.
This commitment underpins its 2013-2022 Strategy promoting inclusive and green growth in Africa. Almost US $7 billion has been committed to projects in support of climate resilient and low-carbon development in the past four years.
However, ahead of the upcoming UN climate talks, COP22, which will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, from November 7 to 18, 2016, the Bank is calling for implementation of the Paris Agreement, especially ensuring that climate financing is urgently delivered for African countries which are most vulnerable to climate change shocks.
Last year, the Bank's support contributed significantly to ensuring that Africa's concerns were addressed in the Paris Agreement at COP21.
The Bank has also committed to triple its climate change finance to about US $5 billion per year and to provide US $12 billion in renewable energy investments by 2020.
In keeping with the Bank's New Deal on Energy for Africa, that provides a good entry point for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and given that COP22 is a key milestone for the implementation of that agreement, it is important that Africa is fully on board, while ensuring linkages with the Bank's High 5 priorities.
According to Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, the current climate financing architecture is not providing the finance Africa needs.
"Much more needs to be done to increase Africa's access to climate finance," Adesina said Friday, May 27, 2016, during a high-level panel on climate change, "Towards COP22 in Marrakech : What are the issues at stake?", on the last day of the Bank's 2016 Annual Meetings.
Adesina pointed out that Africa, which contributes less than 3 per cent of the global greenhouse emissions, is suffering from the effects of El Niño, which has caused severe drought in 14countries with 13 located in East and Southern Africa.
Citing Kenya and Rwanda, which have had devastating floods, with over 8.4 million people facing food insecurity in Malawi and 15 million in Ethiopia, as well as vast areas of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Botswana, Adesina pointed out that the continent is already feeling the shocks of climate change.
To support these countries, AfDB has allocated funds to the tune of US $549 million.
Adesina demanded for "climate justice" for Africa, calling on the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility to "pay for the insurance premium of African countries to the Africa Risk Capacity Agency."
"This will allow them to cope with extreme climate events ... like Senegal which received US $17 million payout to mitigate the impacts of drought. AfDB will lead the way and triple its climate finance to US $5 billion per year by 2020," Adesina said.
For his part, Moroccan Foreign Minister and Chairman of COP22 Steering Committee, Salaheddine Mezouar, pledged that the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) will be an event of action and an occasion to implement the Paris agreement.
"Africa has to move very first," he said, calling for action.
Panelists, including Ségolène Royal, French Environment Minister and COP21 President; Karl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein, Minister of Finance, Namibia; Peter Craig-McQuaide, Head of Unit European Commission, International Cooperation and Development, DEVCO/C/6 - Sustainable Energy and Climate Change; and Mohamed Beavogui, Director General, Africa Risk Capacity, all underscored need for action and implementation of the Paris agreement.
Ségolène Royal, French Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs, responsible for International Climate Relations, emphasized the need to bring forward projects for access to renewable energy and speed up the deployment of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative aimed at increasing Africa's installed renewable energy capacity by 10 GW by 2020 and by 300 GW by 2030.
Royal pointed out that Africa suffers from the impacts of climate change, including droughts, soil degradation, land salination, coastal erosion, deforestation and climate migration.
While Africa is not responsible for these disasters, it is a victim of them. Climate justice, therefore, requires a determined, effective implementation of the actions decided during the summit of African leaders during COP21, she argued.
The AfDB continues to demonstrate leadership in promoting low carbon development. Between 2011-2014, on average 26 per cent of the AfDB annual investments were flagged as climate-smart projects.
In 2014, the AfDB mobilized US $1,916 billion for climate-smart projects including US $1,156 billion for mitigation and US $756 million for adaptation. This amount is up by 59 per cent compared to 2013.
COP20 in Lima was tagged the COP of negotiations of a universal climate change agreement; COP21 in Paris last year was considered a COP of Agreement; while COP22 in Morocco is tagged the COP of Implementation.