African Development Bank President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina discusses Africa's climate action roadmap with UN chief António Guterres
As global leaders prepare for the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says their deliberations must support a new climate finance architecture that prioritises Africa's needs.
Adesina also urged wealthy nations to fulfill their commitments to provide $100 billion annually in climate finance.
COP28, will take place from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Under the theme 'Unite, Act, Deliver' the event represents a milestone moment for the world to take stock of its progress on the Paris Agreement. This will help align climate change efforts, including measures to bridge the gaps in progress.
In its latest Africa Economic Outlook report, the Africa Development Bank estimates that the continent requires as much as $2.8 trillion through 2030 to implement its climate commitments as set out in countries' recently submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). However, Africa's inflows of climate finance remain very low (only 3% of global climate finance), and tend to focus on small-scale, fragmented and uncoordinated operations primarily concentrated in middle-income countries.
Dr Adesina said urgent responses to the climate emergency were needed at several levels.
"At the global level, the developed economies must meet their commitment to provide $100 billion annually in climate finance. The global climate financial architecture must be changed to prioritize the needs of Africa. At the national level, we must accelerate actions on climate adaptation," he reiterated.
Adesina said Africa must revalue its wealth by accounting for the proper valuation of its abundant natural resources, including its vast forests and peatlands that sequester carbon.
He said African nations should voluntarily consider climate-friendly endeavours "not because someone has told us so, but because we have to".
Adesina highlighted a number of key Bank initiatives to support a climate-resilient and decarbonized future for Africa. It is also championing several flagship programmes to scale up climate action and green investments across the continent.
For example, the Bank has pledged to double its climate finance to $25 billion by 2025. It has also launched the $20 billion Desert to Power initiative to harness solar power and deliver clean electricity to 250 million people in the Sahel region. "We must power every home, every school and every hospital," said Adesina, who will lead a Bank Group delegation to Dubai.
The African Development Bank is working with the Global Center on Adaptation to mobilize an additional $12.5 billion to galvanize and scale up climate-resilient actions.
At COP28, the Bank will seek to amplify Africa's voice and profile on climate change while enhancing strategic partnerships for the significant mobilization of new financial resources. Its participation will help reshape the global narrative on key issues such as energy transition, nature-based solutions, adaptation finance, reform of multilateral development banks, carbon markets and restitution for loss and damage. As in previous years, the Bank will host an Africa Pavilion with other African institutions during COP28 to amplify the continent's priorities.
Dr Adesina, and senior Bank executives will participate in high-level sessions at the conference, including a summit of global leaders.