African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina called out developed nations for not honoring the 100 billion USD-a-year climate finance pledge they made to developing countries.
Briefing journalists a day before the kick off of the 2023 African Development Bank Annual Meeting under the theme “Mobilizing Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in Africa,” in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt the president said that lack of adequate financing for tackling climate change in Africa has become dire and is “choking” the continent.
A combination of droughts and floods is causing massive losses of people and infrastructure, leading to rising numbers of refugees in vast areas of East and Southern Africa, and in the Horn of Africa, he stated, and emphasized that climate change is causing havoc anywhere in Africa today.
According to him, there is still much to do, as Africa’s private sector climate financing will need to increase by 36 percent annually. The African Development Bank is spearheading climate adaptation efforts across the continent and has devoted 63 percent of its climate finance, the highest among all multilateral development banks.
Furthermore, he pointed out that the Bank’s new Climate Action Window will support millions of farmers, enabling them to access climate-resistant seeds. The institution has also launched the Desert to Power initiative to develop 10,000 megawatts of solar power to benefit nearly 250 million people across the Sahel.
“Africa’s measured natural capital alone is estimated to be worth 6.2 trillion USD,” which, if well harnessed, can spur a more rapid economic growth and wealth generation, Adesina added.
He spoke about the Bank’s flagship Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) scheme that provides heat-tolerant seed varieties to increase yield in crops such as wheat.
The President gave the example of Ethiopia which is now self-sufficient in wheat production and plans to export the surplus to neighboring countries.
According to Bank estimates, Africa will need 2.7 trillion USD by 2030 to finance its climate change needs.
Adesina said, “If Africa had that money, the Sahel would have electricity. If Africa had that money, we would recharge the Chad basin, which has provided livelihoods for millions of people in Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon. Everything will change in all those countries; we will green the Sahel. We will insure every single African country against catastrophic weather events.”
“Your role as the media is very important to help carry the news – the news of efforts being made, challenges being faced, and the fierce urgency of now in getting much-needed climate finance to Africa,” the Bank chief underlined.
The Bank will launch its annual African Economic Outlook report on May 24, 2023.
The Bank Group’s Annual Meetings will allow the Bank’s Board of Governors, African leaders and development partners to explore practical ways of “mobilizing private sector financing for climate and green growth in Africa,” in line with the theme of this year’s meetings.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency