From the 2nd to the 13th of December 2019, Chile hosted and presided over the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Madrid, Spain. This yearly conference serves as a single global venue for all governments to discuss a path ahead in combating climate change that has been accepted worldwide. It is also a crucial event that brings together all of the major parties involved in climate change concerns from government, the commercial sector, and civil society, as well as all of the African Development Bank’s primary climate change partners.

Under all temperature scenarios over 1.5 degrees Celsius, Africa is the most susceptible continent to climate change consequences. Africa confronts escalating blowback, portraying pervasive threats to its economies, capital projects, water and food systems, healthcare, agriculture, and lifestyles, seeking to reverse its substantial development gains and fall into deeper levels of destitution. Africa’s vulnerability is exacerbated by the following factors:

• Rain-fed agriculture accounts for 95% of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.

• Substantial contribution of agriculture in GDP and workforce contributes to susceptibility.

• Seven of the ten nations most disaster-prone are in Africa.

Climate change poses a significant danger to Africa’s ability to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2018 assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) underlined the dire repercussions of a temperature rise of more than 1.5°C, particularly in Africa. According to the UNEP-commissioned study, the burden of building resilience in Africa might reach $50 billion per year by 2050 if global warming is limited to 2°Cover preindustrial levels.

All countries pledged to take collective action on climate change under the Paris Agreement adopted at COP21 to prevent average climate changes to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement, African nations have stated their lofty ambitions to construct climate-resilient and low-carbon economies. Just since November 2019, 49 African nations had approved their NDCs, out of a total of 54.

Almost all African nations have committed to improving climate action by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening resilience after signing and ratifying the Paris Agreement. Adaptation to the impacts of global warming is critical for the continent. By 2030, Africa would require over $3 trillion in disaster reduction expenditures to meet its NDCs. Many of these pledges, however, are contingent on getting appropriate monetary, technical, and capacity-building assistance.

Climate change, on the other hand, gives chances for Africa to tap into its vast resource potential to meet the Sustainable Development Goals’ ambitions. Africa’s response to climate change will open up considerable market opportunities, particularly for corporate companies and investment institutions. The African Development Bank (AfDB) has made significant pledges to incorporate climate concerns into all of its programs and to significantly increase its climate investments in African nations through its Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP). As a result, COP presents a vital opportunity for the Bank to participate and progress its climate change goals.

The Bank’s participation in COP25 aims to raise its recognition within the global climate change community, consolidate extra resources for climate financing and amenities, endorse measures to enhance the African voice in climate change discussions, shine a spotlight on its endeavors and insight in championing climate-compatible development in Africa, and solidify its delivery system of climate change projects as well as its CCAP.

The African Development Bank has pledged to integrate climate-informed design into all of its initiatives, maintaining its commitment to integrating climate change and green growth in its product line. Under the second Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2021, the Climate Change and Green Growth Department made significant advances in guiding Africa’s transition to increased climate resilience and a low-carbon development path. The Bank is on track to achieve the commitments outlined in this Action Plan:

• By 2021, climate funding will account for 40% of project approvals, with equal shares for adaptation and mitigation.

• Bank investments will include climate change and green growth.

• Increasing low-income African nations’ access to climate funding, with a goal of $25 billion by 2025.

During the session, Abdourahmane Diaw, African Development Bank Officer-in-Charge, Deputy Director-General for the North Africa Region, said, “The African Development Bank is preparing and integrating nature-based measures to resolve both species diversity and global warming issues with the comprehension that they are closely interconnected and that words and deeds that safeguard biodiversity contribute to climate change prevention measures and transformation.” “If not addressed, climate change risk can be a direct cause of biodiversity and ecosystem services loss,” he continued.

On the sidelines of the inaugural Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week, held in Dubai from March 28 to 31, the African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank co-hosted a real conversation on the issue. The four-day hybrid sessions are intended to speed engagement and incorporate climate action with the worldwide rebound from the Covid-19 epidemic. The conference included both natural and man-made solutions.

The Climate Technology Fund, for which the Bank is the implementing agency, has committed $750 million to support the rollout of 1 gigawatt of solar power generation capacity in the MENA region, lessening about 1.7 million tons of CO2 per year from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia’s energy sectors, according to Diaw.

“We have collaborative projects with the African Development Bank on climate-smart agriculture, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Amer Bukvic, Acting Director-General for Global Practices and Relationship at the Islamic Development Bank, underlined the correlation between the two institutions’ partnership. We know that we have no realistic possibility of achieving our goals without collaboration.” Bukvic went on to say that a strong foundation was required. “By 2050, the anticipated cost of meeting the three Rio Conventions’ climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation objectives is $8.3 trillion.”

Climate financing continues to play an important role in making low-carbon, climate-resilient assets bankable by cutting capital costs and mitigating risks for both national and quasi operations. The AfDB is assisting its Regional Member Countries by acting as a lender, partner, and advisor to help them improve access to current capital and leverage future funding possibilities.

Water stress has been exacerbated by heightened hydro-climatic variability as a result of climate change, notably in drought-prone parts of Africa. As a result, improved water resource administration and reservoir infrastructure are important. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a method for coordinating the development and management of water, land, and associated resources to optimize economic and social welfare while preserving essential ecosystems. Water is recognized as an economic, social, and environmental good that should be given evenly to all populations, according to the IWRM approach, which is cross-sectoral and comprehensive.

The Bank, in collaboration with member state governments, donors, and other development agencies, is working to guarantee that African society and economies can endure the detrimental effects of climate change and emerge promptly and economically from climate-related crises. The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) is part of the Clean Investment Funds’ Strategic Climate Fund. The PPCR is intended to assist nations in scaling up climate action and implementing transformative change by incorporating climate resilience into national development planning. Mozambique, Niger, and Zambia are among the African nations where the PPCR is active.

Climate change and fluctuation hurt some of the most basic variables of human health: fresh air and water, enough food, enough housing, and disease-free living. The African Development Bank (AfDB) is funding the Climate Change Health Risk Assessment (CCHRA) initiative with USD 434,500 in grant funds. Climate change health risk assessments will be conducted in five countries, to provide supporting facts to lead the development of national climate-resilient plans. The study nations’ power to address and monitor climate change-related health risks will be increased by the conclusion of the project.

To address Africa’s climate change threats, it is critical to provide and use relevant climate-related statistics in development planning. Africa, according to the World Meteorological Organization, requires at least eight times the existing number of meteorological stations to offer appropriate climatic services to adequately aid development. This scenario is made worse by the fact that even the few operational stations have significant hurdles, such as a lack of qualified people and outdated equipment, all of which contribute to their failure to report as necessary. There is widespread agreement that Africa’s Regional/National Meteorological and Hydrological Services need to be strengthened to assist development on the continent while also managing climate change problems.

Increased power availability has been linked to economic development and, as a result, poverty reduction. Africa has the smallest electrification rate in the world, with approximately 75% of the population lacking access to power. However, rising urbanization has resulted in increased cumulative business energy demand and associated output in recent years. In Africa, the demand for modern energy is expanding at a quicker rate than the supply. Simultaneously, Africa’s ability to conform to the global greenhouse gas reduction goal while maintaining economic growth continues to be an important challenge. For a low-carbon development path, harmonizing demand with the need to foster clean energy that depends on renewable energy supplies is critical.

The Bank’s energy policy aims to assist Africa in achieving universal access to advanced electricity by 2025, especially by utilizing the continent’s enormous renewable energy resources. This would necessitate the construction of 160 GW of additional capacity, 130 million new on-grid connections, 75 million new off-grid connections, and the provision of clean cooking options to 150 million people. The approach will make a big contribution to Africa’s low-carbon development transition. Access to sustainable energy through both on-grid and off-grid infrastructure can help Africa progressively divorce emissions from its economic development and move away from traditional high-emission energy supplies. However, the remoteness and non – dispatchable of renewables pose an obstacle to their widespread usage in Africa.

To guide growth towards equitable and sustainable development for all on the continent, science, technology, and innovation must be used to transition to low-carbon, resource-efficient, and climate-resilient development pathways. This radical change is a structural transformation spurred by a knowledge-based and inclusive economy that significantly contributes to Africa’s raw resources and increases global competitiveness through low-polluting and resource-efficient industrialization — i.e. green industrialization. In a future where greenhouse gas emissions are controlled and perhaps sold, Africa’s burgeoning industrial base will have to compete. Africa can establish an industrial foundation worthy of competing in a 2050 world through efficient enterprises that properly manage finite resources.

Africa’s desertification rate is about double that of the rest of the globe, with the continent losing more than 4 million hectares of forest cover per year. Around 65 percent of Africa’s pollutants are due to deforestation and poor farming practices. To tackle climate change, the continent’s deforestation must be reversed. The Bank has made significant investments in Africa’s forests, and it has helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, notably in the Congo Basin Forests.

Africa offers several chances to establish sustainable transportation linkages that can promote more shared prosperity and social integration, and help combat climate change. Every day, the average Lagos commuter spends more than three hours stuck in traffic. A Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system was introduced in 2008 to serve around 200,000 commuters. Other ground-based alternatives, on the other hand, have little impact because of the heavily crowded road and bridge infrastructure. As a result, the Lagos Cable Transit system is being explored to offer a cost-effective and dependable public transportation system for over 350,000 people. Through 10 kilometers of Tricable Ropeway Technology, the Project has the potential to touch the lives of up to 350,000 commuters, cutting travel times from 2 to 3 hours to 15 minutes.

The Integrate Africa Strategy aims to boost cross-border investments and economic growth by enabling the flow of people, energy, products, and services inside and between African countries. The policy allows for investments in the development of cleaner transportation networks that minimize emissions. Regional power streams and grid interconnections will be major areas for the Bank’s work to promote the transfer of sustainable power across borders and capitalize on rises and falls in both supply and demand. Transboundary water resource planning and regional drought preparedness programs, such as the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, are also included.

Technology development and implementation are becoming increasingly important in the worldwide response to climate change concerns. Climate change adaptation requires both financial and technological assistance for sensitive parts. The Green Tech Financial Facility is a platform for investing in green technology projects driven by the private sector. Africa’s Sustainable Energy Fund (SEFA). The Bank will use the SEFA award to help structure and establish an investment facility targeted at enhancing private capital flow to private sector-led projects in Africa that employ carbon-reducing and clean technology. Market research and assessment will help determine the best structure and financial management technique for the financial facility.

Reducing poverty through supporting socioeconomic growth, particularly in the agricultural sector, is one possible method of decreasing climate-related risks and severe event consequences across the continent. Value-added techniques employing reliable and sustainable energy sources are said to be capable of eliminating suffering two to four times quicker than growth in any other industry in this sector, which serves 60% of Africa’s population. Solar-powered, efficient micro-irrigation, for example, is raising farm earnings by five to ten times, enhancing yields by up to 300 percent, and lowering water use by up to 90 percent while negating carbon emissions by producing up to 250 kW of clean energy.

This strategy provides opportunities to incorporate climate change into urban planning, endorse integrated water resource development and management, aid transboundary water resource management, enhance public health security and disaster risk management, improve nutritional status, strengthen water supply and waste disposal resilience, particularly in urban areas, and develop green jobs. The Bank is forming partnerships with the African Union and the Africa Center for Disease Control to improve disease surveillance and emergency preparedness, as well as with WHO and UNEP under the Health and Environment Strategic Alliance (HESA) to catalyze action and stimulate policies and investments on the health and environment sectors’ shared commitment.

As a result, the Bank will seize the chance to alter the agricultural sector using climate-smart agriculture (CSA), which is crucial for increasing farmers’ resilience to climate change while also lowering the sector’s proportion to GHG emissions. Africa’s yearly crop yields might rise from USD 280 billion to USD 880 billion by 2030 as a result of CSA, providing a substantial potential to feed the continent’s rising population. The execution of nutrition-sensitive CSA will be guided by the Bank’s nutrition action plan. Through agricultural and animal variety, in collaboration with nutrition awareness campaigns, not only will the general availability of food grow, but so will the nutritional diversity and quality of foods.

The Bank is already conducting post-harvest loss reduction programs to address the climate-related risk of pest infestation and associated food quality concerns. The Bank also suggests promoting a variety of methods to aid in the achievement of the objective of feeding Africa, including farmer insurance, hydro-meteorological data, and monitoring systems, as well as enhanced distribution systems and value chains to decrease food and financial risks.

Africa has made significant contributions to the global climate discourse. The extraordinarily high levels of ratification of the Paris Agreement — over 90% – reflect this. Many African countries have committed to making the switch to green energy in a very short period. Over 70% of African NDCs, for example, prioritize renewable energy and agriculture. This aspiration must be considered while determining the continent’s economic growth priorities.

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