The Global Center for Climate Adaptation (CGA) aims to mobilize $25 billion by 2025 to finance climate adaptation in Africa. This is, recalls Patrick Verkooijen, president of the CGA, the objective of the African summit on financing adaptation which started its work on September 5, 2022 in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, inside the largest building floating in the world, a successful example of adaptation.
Number of African leaders including Macky Sall, President of Senegal and current Chairman of the African Union, Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana speaking on behalf of the 55 most vulnerable countries in the world, Félix Thisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the African Union Commission, came to Rotterdam to present the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), a joint initiative of the Global Center on Adaptation and the African development bank.
The African paradox
Only responsible for 3% of global pollution, as recalled by Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the UN, who will say that each dollar invested in adaptation generates an impact of 100 dollars, Africa is the most vulnerable to climate change. A paradox that is all the more significant given that the continent is struggling to capture funds from climate finance and the financing needs are significant in the face of the challenges of climate change. Indeed, while the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of 51 African countries cumulatively show a need for around $579 billion in investments for adaptation through 2030, the continent has only mobilized 11, $4 billion in adaptation funding tracked on average annually from 2019 to 2020.
If this trend were to continue until 2030, the cumulative funding for adaptation would be only $125.4 billion, less than a quarter of the estimated needs indicated in the NDCs. The investment gap in adaptation in Africa needs to be closed through concerted action among stakeholder groups. To help financial institutions integrate resilience into their investments in Africa, the Global Center on Climate Adaptation believes “increased access to robust climate data to inform mainstreaming decisions” is essential.
It should be noted that during the years 2019 and 2020, an annual average of $29.5 billion in climate finance was committed in Africa and approximately 39% of these commitments, or $11.4 billion, targeted activities adaptation. Of the $11.4 billion in adaptation commitments tracked from 2019 to 2020, more than 97% came from public actors, while less than 3% came from the private sector.
Call for concrete commitment
More than half of the adaptation finance commitments tracked in Africa were loans between 2019 and 2020, with 30% in the form of concessional debt and 23% in the form of commercial debt. On the other hand, more than an additional 45% of adaptation finance commitments tracked during this period were grants, with the remaining 2% being a mix of commercial equity and unspecified types of finance.
Getting out of Glasgow’s failure
Would the meeting in Rotterdam as a prelude to COP 27 scheduled for next November in Egypt be more conclusive in its promises than that of Gasglow where the developed world was committed but almost without follow-up to date? It would certainly be necessary, in this momentum towards the mobilization of climate finance, to involve the private sector as insisted Feike Sijbesma, honorary president of the Dutch DSM Group, former co-president of the High-Level Assembly of the Coalition for the leadership in terms of carbon pricing (CPLC) and distinguished by the World Bank as Global Climate Leader.
Africa facing the 3 Fs (Adesina)
“Africa faces three crises: Covid crisis, food crisis and climate crisis and their response is in three Fs: finance, finance and finance,” says Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, at the start of his speech. The continent can lose up to 16% of its GDP due to climate change. Some 9 of the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change are in Sub-Saharan Africa, Adesina said, calling on partners to get involved in the AAAP acceleration program set up by the African Union. In his remarks, President Macky Sall expressed his disappointment at the absence of industrialists, the first responsible for pollution, and of the private sector in general. Returning in depth to the major initiatives of the continent such as, among others, the Great Green Wall, President Macky Sall insisted on the concrete commitment to finance concrete projects with high impact. “The cost of adaptation must be equitably shared according to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities”.
Along the same lines, Nana Akufo-Addo from Ghana recalled the economic and social consequences of Covid-19 in Africa. More than 26 million people have fallen into extreme poverty. In Glasgow last year, developed countries pledged to double funding for adaptation. The Sharm El Sheikh COP should be the moment of truth, wished the Ghanaian considering the AAAP program as an African solidarity vision of the financing of adaptation. Same position displayed by President Felix Thisekedi of the DRC who detailed the negative impact of climate change in his country and in Africa in general, congratulating the AfDB for the launch of its window dedicated to green finance and putting action on his country’s commitment to preserving the forest.
All that remains is to convince the partners to put their money where their mouth is. “Africa, recalled the Congolese, needs 45 billion dollars a year” to deal with these climate changes. In any case, as estimated by Moussa Faki Mahamat, “we cannot speak of ‘net zero’ when 54% of Africans do not have access to electricity”. African leaders advocate a joint vision of adaptation and development. This vision requires concrete commitment.
“What is certain is that the Glosgow pact, negotiated with great dexterity, has failed”, concludes Amina Mohammed, deputy secretary general of the UN, calling for a leap forward at COP 27. Present in Rotterdam, the director General Manager of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, who endorses the AAAP program, reminded everyone that the need goes beyond financing to an inclusive and resilient society.