African Leaders Call for Strong Action on Climate Change

From heat-resistant crops to insurance that helps nations rebuild after a disaster, efforts to adapt to growing climate risks are taking root in Africa - but the work is too slow and is now threatened by Covid-19, African leaders have warned. Just 3% of international climate finance is reaching the continent, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), told an online meeting seeking advice from African heads of state on how to accelerate adaptation. Thomson Reuters reports that earlier this year, the bank said it would raise U.S.$25 billion by 2025 to spur climate action in Africa. But with the novel coronavirus pandemic hitting economies and development budgets around the world, raising money for climate action has become harder over the last year, even as climate change-related risks surge. The AfDB and the Global Center on Adaptation hosted the meeting as part of their joint Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, which aims to boost African efforts to adapt agriculture and infrastructure while creating jobs.

(From left) President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, secretary-general of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank at the Leaders' Dialogue on Africa COVID-19 Climate Emergency on April 6, 2021.

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