The African Development Bank will on Monday kick off a campaign to plead the continent’s case at the world’s leading climate change conference.
The 25th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) comes at a crucial time for the globe and Africa in particular. In recent years, rising temperatures have wreaked havoc with weather patterns, leading to suffocating heat and devastating storms. In Africa, the climate has exacerbated food shortages and destroyed infrastructure.
African countries know all too well the risks posed by climate change, said Wale Shonibare, the Bank’s Acting Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth. He cited the devastating impact of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania and the Comoros earlier this year.
“However, Africa also offers climate smart investment opportunities – from country-led innovation centers, to transformative renewable energy initiatives. For example, this year, the Bank approved financing for the first on-grid solar power public-private partnership in Chad, under the Desert to Power initiative,” Shonibare said.
Projects like Desert to Power will be highlighted at COP 25, which will from 2 to 13 December bring together leaders and institutions from 196 nations plus the European Union, who have signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
At the heart of the matter are the Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, which form part of the landmark Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 during COP21 in the French capital. The NDCs are specific climate change targets that each country must set.
The Paris Agreement has been ratified by 51 out of 54 African countries. It binds countries to cutting carbon emissions to ensure that global temperatures do not rise by more than 2°C by the end of this century, while attempting to contain it within 1.5°C.
Climate finance is another issue that will top the agenda at COP25 in Madrid.
“2020 is a critical year in securing adequate resources for African countries to meet their Paris Agreement commitments, clarity and transparency on global climate finance access is essential to deliver climate action faster and at scale,” said Anthony Nyong, Director Climate Change and Green Growth Department at the African Development Bank.
The African Development Bank is joining the other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in a pavilion to showcase the joint commitment to combatting climate change. The Bank will participate in several panel discussions at COP25, and will support the advocacy efforts of its regional member countries. The Bank is playing a leading role in guiding progress on climate change on the continent. Some of its achievements are:
85% of investments are screened for climate risk and for greenhouse gas emissions. The Bank’s ambition is to screen all projects by 2020.
By next year, 40% of the Bank’s own investments will be dedicated to climate finance.
The Bank has doubled its total climate change commitment to $25 billion between 2020 and 2025, with more than half of it going to adaptation.