M168b for climate change fight
THE African Development Bank (ADB) has pledged US$12 billion (about M168 billion) towards supporting alternative sources of energy as part of African initiatives aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.
This was revealed by ADB President Akinwumi Adesina during the African Action Summit that was held on the sidelines of the recently-ended 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22).
Lesotho joined other African countries in committing to mobilise multilateral and bilateral donors to finance the implementation of initiatives to combat climate change which has reportedly left more than 280 million people food insecure on the continent.
Dubbed the COP of Action, the conference discussed ways of availing climate change finance to African countries as they were most vulnerable to adverse effects of climate change.
The discussions also centred on scaling up water and agriculture as climate sensitive investments in mountainous countries like Lesotho.
Delivering a joint declaration speech at the African Action Summit Morocco’s King Mohammed VI said “Africa, which has contributed the least to global greenhouse gas emissions, is the continent most affected by climate change and its impacts on its territories, the consequences of which may jeopardise peace, security and sustainable development in Africa”.
King Mohammed VI said African governments were building on their own resources as well as mobilising multilateral and bilateral donors as well as non-state actors to support initiates to combat climate change.
“Our ambition to make climate action a lever of emergence in order to build an inclusive, sustainable development model that meets the legitimate aspirations of African populations and safeguards the interests of future generations.
He said African governments had committed to promoting the adaptation measures, adding this could only be achieved if multilateral and bilateral donors as well as nonstate actors invest money towards initiatives to combat climate change.
He said the initiatives include the Africa Adaptation Initiative, the Adaptation of African Agriculture initiative (Triple A), and Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel project.
King Mohammed VI said these initiatives are in favour of an African sustainable co-emergence, in particular the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, the Conservation of the Lake Chad Basin Ecosystem, the Blue Growth, the African Clean Energy Corridor and the Blue Fund for the Congo Basin.
The summit called for King Mohammed to work with the African Union Chair for the implementation of the declaration, particularly with regard to the coordination and follow-up to priority initiatives in the areas of combating climate change and promoting sustainable development.
The summit was attended by observers from United Nations Organisation (UN), African Development Bank (ADB), China and France.
For his part, ADB President Mr Adesina said the bank welcomed the declaration by the African heads of state, especially on the issue of lighting up and empowering Africa.
“This is crucial. Africa cannot develop in the dark and the African Development Bank is already working on this and will be investing US$12 billion in the next five years,” Mr Adesina said.
“I am looking forward to the fulfillment of the pledge of the G7 countries to provide US$10 million to the initiative.
“The sooner this is made available, the faster we will all made progress in achieving the goal of universal access to electricity and acceleration of the growth of renewables in Africa’s energy mix,” he said. The Group of Seven (G7) refers to the world’s largest industrial nations, namely Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the Marrakech conference was a special COP that had an air of promise.
“Marrakech is different from any COP ever held before. African had to bring us to this point. The continent took us from high stake negotiations to high speed ratifications,” Mr Ki-moon said.
He urged African countries that had not yet ratified the Paris Agreement to join the rest of the world in helping shape a new future.
By 17 November, a total of 110 countries had ratified the historical Paris Agreement which entered into force on November 4 which makes it legally binding for countries to keep their own commitment in lines of financial pledges to combat climate change.
For his part, China’s Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining promised his country’s support, saying “China will stay with Africans in their journey to tackle climate change and embark on sustainable development.”
France’s President Francois Hollande said it was disturbing that Africans were the hardest hit by the adverse effects of climate change even though they contributed the least greenhouse gases emissions. He said at least 280 million Africans were food insecure due to adverse effects of climate change and called on European countries to invest in projects to tackle climate change.
ADB President akinwumi adesina.