As Africa tries to recover from the damage brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it hopes to foster a green recovery. To do so, African nations are aiming to double funding for climate change adaptation projects to USD$25 billion over the next five years.
What is Happening?
- Africa has already secured $12.5 billion from the African Development Bank for the newly launched Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program. It hopes to secure the balance at the next two UN Climate Change Conferences.
- Each year, the continent loses between $7 and $15 billion to climate change, which will likely increase to as much as $50 billion (3% of continent GDP) annually by 2040 without urgent investment in adaptation strategies.
Patrick Verkooijen, chief executive officer of the Global Center on Adaptation, said in an interview that “African leaders want to use the COVID-19 crisis as a reset moment for the current crisis and to prepare for the next one. We are still increasing carbon emissions to the atmosphere and the implications are exponential.”
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- Africa contributes relatively little to global carbon emissions, but it is likely to be the hardest hit by climate change due to a reliance on rain-fed agriculture including crops and livestock. Additionally, the continent is threatened by rising sea levels, which increases the intensity of natural disasters. It is hoped that this funding can help Africa pursue the green recovery from COVID-19 needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change in the future.
- The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program seeks to establish a centralised body through which African governments, multilateral and bilateral institutions and donors can send funds to organised adaptation initiatives on the continent. Some of these projects include providing farmers with access to digital technologies so they can better plan for and deal with severe weather events, as well as mobilising resources from international capital markets.
- Each year, climate change kills at least 1 000 in the sub-Saharan region, while another 13 million are either injured, homeless, food insecure or without water and sanitation.
- According to the International Monetary Fund, since 2000, climate change and natural disasters have caused $520 million in direct economic damage in the region.
Verkooijen says, “while $25 billion is not enough for adaptation, it is a stepping stone to a much bigger number and is bold and feasible.”
Featured image by: Flickr