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Africa facing a crisis in funding for climate adaptation – Report

Africa is facing a critical shortfall in funding for climate adaptation according to a new report, titled: “State and Trends in Adaptation in Africa 2022”, launched by the Global Centre on Adaptation on Friday, November 4, 2022.

Patrick Verkooijen
Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO, Global Centre on Adaptation

The report reveals that cumulative adaptation finance to 2030 will come to less than one-quarter of the estimated needs stated by African countries in their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) unless more funding for climate adaptation is secured.

In 2019 and 2020 an estimated $11.4 billion was committed to climate adaptation finance in Africa with more than 97% of the funds coming from public actors and less than 3% from private sectors. This is significantly less than the $52.7 billion annually to 2030 it is estimated African countries will need.

To increase the volume and efficacy of adaptation finance flows to Africa over the coming decade, the report makes a number of recommendations:

  • Financial institutions must mainstream resilience into investments they are making.
  • Policy makers and other stakeholders must build the enabling environment for adaptation investment.
  • Financial innovation for adaptation must match country-level policy and market conditions.

Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Centre on Adaptation, commenting on the report findings, said: “Adaptation finance is scaling too slowly to close the investment gap in Africa, even as the costs of inaction rise. As we look forward to COP27, we must generate a breakthrough on finance for climate adaptation. The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme, endorsed by the African Union, is the best vehicle we have to ensure the adaptation investment shortfall in Africa is met with action from all available sources including the private sector.”

Speaking during the launch event for the report, Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “COP27 must be a turning point. Developed countries must put forward credible plans to double adaptation finance to reach $40 billion a year by 2025. The Secretary-General has called for a new business model to deliver adaptation finance by turning adaptation priorities into pipelines of investment for projects.”

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, said: “At the Global Centre on Adaptation, they are doing incredible work in mapping out what the needs are, mapping out how to make climate resilient infrastructure.

“Already the Upstream (Financing) Facility at the Global Centre on Adaptation, is doing so much analytical work to support countries to build climate resilience into infrastructure, into agriculture and to mainstream climate financing into national bodies but also into the financing of large multilateral development banks.”

Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture for the African Union Commission, said: “Africa’s 1.4 billion people contribute less than 3% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions but finds itself on the frontline of this climate emergency with nine out of ten of the most vulnerable countries in Africa. Adaptation to climate change is very crucial to Africa. At COP27 it is adaptation and financing adaptation which is our priority.”

STA22 provides policy shaping recommendations in key areas such as livestock, agriculture, cities, nature-based solutions, blue economy, and coastal erosion. It is the most comprehensive guide to assess progress on climate adaptation in Africa and provide guidance and recommendations on best practices in adapting to the effects of a changing climate and building resilience to climate shocks.

The report highlights successful adaptation initiatives from the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) which have the potential to be scaled up and replicated. It also presents key policies, skills and finance gaps that must be addressed if adaptation is to be effective and reach those who need it the most.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Dr Ede Ijjasz-Vásquez and Professor Jamal Saghir, Co-Directors of State and Trends in Adaptation in Africa 2022, said: “The climate is changing rapidly, and Africa needs to Adapt. It must adapt to rising temperatures, more extreme storms and floods, rising sea levels, more intense heatwaves and longer and more severe droughts. Our report maps out not only the impacts of climate change, but also the available adaptation solutions. The report proves that adaptation is an opportunity for jobs and economic recovery. Adaptation pays.”

The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP) was developed by African Development Bank and the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) to mobilise $25 billion by 2025 to implement, scale and accelerate climate adaptation across the African continent.

AAAP works across four bold interconnected pillars to achieve transformational results: Climate-Smart Digital Technologies for Agriculture and Food Security; African Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator; Youth Empowerment for Entrepreneurship and Job Creation in Climate Adaptation and Resilience and Innovative Financial Initiatives for Africa. AAAP has already guided over $3.5 billion of upstream investments in 19 countries with every dollar spent influencing $100 downstream.

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