Original Article

The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has called for global support for Africa to move towards net-zero at the ongoing Leaders Summit on Climate convened by the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden.

He made this call while participating in a panel session on how combined public and private finance can be galvanized to accelerate the move to a net-zero economy.

“To be sure, climate change is a threat to Africa. The continent loses 7-15 billion dollars per year to climate change, and this will rise to 50 billion dollars per year by 2040 according to the IMF. Africa, the least emitter, suffers the worst of the impacts of climate change including droughts, floods, locust and pest invasions.

“Africa is not at net-zero, Africa is at ground zero. We must, therefore, give Africa a lift to get a chance of adapting to what it did not cause,” he said.

He also talked about how the African Development Bank is leading this charge to support Africa.

According to him, “we have committed 25 billion dollars to climate finance over the next four years, our share of financing devoted to climate rose from just a mere 9% in 2016 to 35% in 2019 and we will reach 40% in 2021, this year. We are also setting the pace… African Development Bank is the only multilateral development bank to meet and exceed the 50% parity for climate adaptation and resilience. Indeed we devoted 50% of our climate finance to climate adaptation and resilience in 2018 and last year we increased that to a record 63%.”

“We are climate-proofing Africa,” he added. “The bank is targeting 40 million farmers with climate-smart agricultural practices. We are also speeding up Africa’s energy transition to renewable energy. We help to support the largest wind power plant in Africa in Kenya. And now we have embarked on what we now call desert to power. A 20-billion-dollar investment that would provide opportunities to turn the Sahel into the world’s largest solar zone and provide electricity for 250 million people.”

“We are securing the future of the Sahel. We have pledged 6.5 billion dollars towards building the great green wall in the Sahel to protect against desertification. We are deploying our Africa disaster risk facility to help countries to pay for insurance premiums against catastrophic climate events. We are also building strategic partnerships in particular with the Global Centre for Adaptation. And together we have created and launched the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme.”

“Our goal is to mobilize 25 billion dollars for the programme exclusively for scaling up actions on climate adaptation. Just three weeks ago, thirty African heads of states, global leaders including the UN secretary-general, Guterres, joined forces to back this African Adaptation Acceleration Programme.”