Africa: Global Financial Architecture Needs to Prioritise Africa's Climate Adaptation Needs - AfDB #AfricaClimateHope

7 September 2023

Nairobi, Kenya — Africa contributes less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet it suffers some of the worst effects of rising global temperatures.

African countries are taking the climate crisis seriously and are stepping up their actions to address it. They recognise that the impacts of climate change are disproportionately felt by the poor and vulnerable, who rely on climate-sensitive agriculture for their livelihoods. To build resilience against climate change, country leaders outlined ambitious plans for green growth, including investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable agriculture. These plans will help to reduce emissions and create jobs, while also making the continent more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis.

From 2020 to 2030, the estimated funding required for the 51 African countries' that submitted data on their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) is approximately $2.8 trillion, representing more than 93% of Africa's GDP.

To this end, the African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina announced a commitment of U.S$25 billion towards climate financing.

"The global climate financial architecture must be changed to prioritise the needs of Africa at the national level on climate adaptation, that is why AfDB has committed to providing U.S.$25 billion towards climate finance by 2025," he said. "We have also launched the African Adaptation Acceleration Program together with the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA), the largest climate adaptation programme in the world."

Adesina called for a change in the global financial architecture to prioritise the needs of Africa, and for delegates to mobilise resources for climate financing.

He said that Africa must use its natural gas and combine it with renewable resources and that it must ensure that its food and agriculture are climate resilient. He also urged African nations to voluntarily consider climate-friendly endeavors, not because they are told to, but because they have to.

"That's why the African Development Bank is implementing a U.S.$20 billion Desert to Power program to harness the power of solar and deliver electricity for 250 million people," he said.

He announced the U.S.$1 billion initiative to support youth-led solutions to food insecurity in Africa and the U.S.$72 billion commitment to support African countries in ensuring food security within the next five years.

Adesina urged leaders to practice climate-resilient agricultural systems. He also asked them to evaluate natural resources like forests, which can provide enough carbon to help mitigate climate change. He said the continent's wealth must be revalued to account for the proper valuation of its natural resources, such as the Congo forest, which is a carbon sink and that Africa's GDP must be revalued based on its carbon sequestration and that Africa must develop its own carbon markets.

He concluded by saying that Africa must develop its own carbon markets. It cannot be "nature-rich, and cash poor".

Are carbon markets a just and equitable climate solution?

Carbon markets as a solution to the climate crisis are heavily criticised by activists who say that it does not benefit Africa's people. This is because polluters can continue to produce high levels of greenhouse gas emissions but are able to offset this by purchasing carbon credits from areas where land is being conserved. In effect the carbon being emitted is being "balanced out" by the carbon remaining in forests that remain protected. But this does not take into account that global emission must be drastically reduced to ensure a liveable future. Activists call it a "false solution" and an escape route for companies in rich countries to continue to pollute.

Carbon capture schemes are also under fire for alleged human rights violations as most well-protected areas are under the management of indigenous peoples.

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