As the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina joined world leaders in the Earth Summit on climate hosted by US President Joe Biden, he ahs told the world of the climatic challenges the continent faces
During a panel discussion titled “Financing the 10-year Sprint,” Adesina spelled out the challenge that confronts the African continent as the climate crisis worsens and the world races to meet the 2030 deadline for the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Africa contributed the least to rising temperatures but suffered the worst impacts of climate change, in the form of droughts, floods, and plagues like the recent locust invasion in East Africa. Adesina said: “The continent loses $7 billion to $15 billion a year to climate change, and this will rise to $50 billion per year by 2040, according to the IMF. Africa is not at net zero. Africa is at ground zero. We must therefore give Africa a lift to get a chance of adapting to what it did not cause.”
Adesina also highlighted the African Development Bank’s role as a climate change warrior. He said the Bank had committed $25 billion to climate finance over the next four years. Its share of financing devoted to climate rose from 9% in 2016 to 35% in 2019 and will reach 40% in 2021. The African Development Bank is the only multilateral development bank to meet and exceed the 50% parity for climate adaptation and resilience. The Bank devoted 50% of its climate finance to climate adaptation in 2018. In 2020, that rose to a record 63%.
In addition, the African Development Bank recently joined forces with the Global Center on Adaptation to launch the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, which aims to mobilize $25 billion for climate adaptation by 2025. Supporters of the initiative include UN Secretary-General António Guterres and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina on Thursday joined 40 heads of state and government at the Leaders Summit on Climate, where the United States, Japan and Canada announced ambitious climate targets to address the escalating emergency.
United States President Joe Biden said the US would aim to cut carbon emissions by 50% to 52% from 2005 levels by 2030. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau upgraded their nations’ targets to more than 40% over the same period.
Biden also announced plans to triple public financing for climate in developing countries by 2024. “Meeting this challenge requires mobilizing financing on an unprecedented scale. The private sector’s already recognized this – they know that climate change is more than a threat. It also presents the largest job opportunities in history,” the US leader said. “But the private sector has more to do and must do. Let’s be clear, even then the private sector cannot meet these challenges alone, governments need to step up and may need to lead.”