AfDB rallies $2.7tr to meet climate change needs of Nigeria, others

Wole Oyebade | The Guardian

African Development Bank (AfDB), yesterday, lamented the devastating effects of climate change in several poor African countries, saying the continent would require $2.7 trillion in interventions by 2030 to adapt.

The development bank, which took a swipe at Western countries’ empty promises on climate change financing, said several African countries, for no fault of theirs, would continue to be in dire straits without urgent interventions.

AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, at a media briefing to herald the 2023 yearly general meeting of the bank, in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, said Africa is in a dire situation and choking badly, hence it needs more investments from the public and private sectors.

Adesina noted that Africa, which accounts for just three per cent of the global emission, feels the pinch more in losses of $7 to $15 billion yearly due to climate change, with spiral effects that would swell losses to $50 billion by 2040, at the current trend.

He said: “Africa is being shortchanged by the rest of the world. Africa will need $2.7 trillion by 2030 to finance climate change needs, but it gets a paltry $30 billion in climate financing. Africa needs better support to be able to adapt to climate change that it did not cause.

“For adaptation, it will cost anything between $250 billion to $407 billion in terms of the needs of Africa to be able to adapt to climate change.”

The president, however, regretted that the West’s promises to give another $100 billion are easily made, but routinely not kept.

“Sometimes, I wonder too that there are so many megawatts of talks and very little financing for those that are suffering the problem. We have to turn all the talks into resources for countries to adapt to climate change for those farmers sitting there in northern parts of Nigeria, Niamey, and suffering in Madagascar, because of all talks and very little fulfillment. They don’t need talks, they need financing to allow them to adapt,” he said.

Adesina added that more financing is the only prescription for climate change adaptation. And that is why AfDB has been championing the adaptation programme that mobilises $25 billion for countries, devoted over 40 per cent of total financing to climate funding, and now rallying the private sector to come on board at the 2023 general meeting.

He said they realised that public financing is not enough, but the private sector is just as central to effective climate change financing if they can achieve a 36 per cent growth in financing yearly, because “we still need to mobilise at least $230 billion of private sector financing yearly.”

“That is why this AGM of AfDB is focusing on mobilising private sector financing for Africa. Africa is in a very dire situation of climate change, and there must be a sense of urgency to tackle the problems. In my view, Africa is choking, and choking badly because of all these challenges of debt, COVID-19, climate change, conflicts, and global price inflation among others. But Africans need to breathe to be able to survive,” Adesina said.

He noted that Nigeria is not only faced with severe flooding but also drought and food insecurity. Unfortunately, Adesina said, nine of the 10 poor countries worst affected by flooding are in the Sahara region.

He said the AfDB had shown commitment through the $253 million intervention for inclusive basic services in the Lake Chad Basin, among others. He urged Nigeria to leverage the African disaster risk cover facility, akin to that which benefited over 6000 farmers in Madagascar. Also, the effective use of agro-meteorological stations and technological innovations that produce high-yield seeds for food sufficiency and export.


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