As Africa gets hotter, heads of state on the continent and other top figures from global organisations, on Monday, September 5 met in Rotterdam, Holland to address climate change financing.
While rich countries have pledged to spend about $25 billion by 2025 to boost Africa’s efforts to adapt to climate change as the continent continues to struggle with drought, cyclones and extreme heat, the amount promised by the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program – a joint initiative between various nations and organizations – is billed as the largest ever adaptation effort globally.
Although the continent emits just 3% to 4% of emissions despite being home to nearly 17% of the world’s population, experts say it is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it less able to adapt.
However, African nations hope to use the funds to improve their resilience to extreme weather events, such as droughts or floods, increase tree cover and protect biodiversity, as well as expand their renewable energy capacity.
According to reports, half of the amount is pledged by the African Development Bank with representatives from Denmark, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, the International Monetary Fund and others also offering their support for the initiative.
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Many of those who spoke at the event felt that the upcoming COP27 was a perfect place for the issues to be nailed down. Among them was the Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation Ban Ki-moon who said that it is entirely possible for the key players to come together behind this for COP27.
On his part, CEO of Global Center on Adaptation Patrick Verkooijen, said “We must double down on climate finance adaptation for Africa at COP27. Double down, it was promised in Glasgow. It has to be delivered two months from now,”.
The summit is said to be coming just weeks after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that rich countries had failed to deliver on their 2009 promise to spend $100 billion a year to aid developing countries to adapt to a warming climate.
The organization was quoted as saying that a whopping $83.3 billion was given to poorer nations in 2020, the highest ever sum, but still short of the original amount. If the funds promised at the Rotterdam summit are delivered, the decades-old goal will finally be achieved but African nations warn this will not be enough.
On his part, the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina told the summit that Africa will need between $1.3 and $1.6 trillion this decade to implement its commitments to the Paris climate agreement, an annual cost between $140 and $300 billion.
He added that the costs of adapting to climate change are expected to increase by 2050, as the effects of global warming get more severe.
Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo Addo said that his country will push for the funds allocated to adapting to a warmer climate to be doubled at the forthcoming United Nations summit in Egypt in November.
Also speaking during the event, the U.N. Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt, Mahmoud Mohieldin, said that the existing global climate financing structure is insufficient and ineffective, especially for Africa.
Story was adapted from Afrcicanews