COP28: a leadership platform to accelerate climate adaptation in Africa

06 12 2023 | 23:39Boris Ngounou / AFRIK21

The African Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP) was the focus of discussions at the high-level panel on financing adaptation to climate change in Africa. The workshop, held on 1 December 2023 at the COP28 Village in Dubai, resulted in a decision to set up a leadership platform to accelerate climate adaptation on the continent.

One of the highlights of December 1 in Dubai was a high-level panel discussion on financing climate change adaptation in Africa. This round table of leaders of the 28th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP28), which is still ongoing, was co-organised by William Ruto, President of Kenya and Chairman of the African Climate Summit, Macky Sall, President of Senegal, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA). According to these leaders, a leadership platform needs to be set up to take stock of progress, and cement new commitments in favour of the capitalisation objectives of the Programme for Accelerating Adaptation in Africa (PAAA). This should accelerate adaptation to climate change in Africa.

“As the continent most vulnerable to climate change, Africa is still lagging behind in the adaptation process because it benefits very little from concessional financing and green investments, despite the existence of dedicated mechanisms. As a result, African countries are taking on huge debts to finance their green projects, which is a double penalty for the continent that pollutes the least”, deplored Macky Sall, President of Senegal, before declining his country’s proposal. “Senegal proposes to explore with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and partner countries, as well as the Global Centre for Adaptation (GCA), the possibility of financing green projects from resources earmarked for debt repayment, in order to support the implementation of the Programme for Accelerated Action on Adaptation (PAAA) in Africa”.

The AAPA was launched on 25 January 2021 by the AfDB and the GCA, on the sidelines of the Climate Change Adaptation Summit (CAS), co-organised by the Dutch government and the GCA. The programme aims to mobilise USD 25 billion to scale up measures to adapt to the effects of climate change in Africa. However, the latest figures show that international public financial flows for climate action to developing countries have fallen by 15%, levelling off in 2021 at 21 billion dollars.

“To deploy climate adaptation resources more effectively, the AfDB and the GCA have supported the development of National Adaptation Compacts. These Compacts will enable investors at the national level to know exactly what they are supporting,” said AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina.

According to the pan-African financial institution, Africa loses between 7 and 15 billion dollars every year due to climate change. And these losses are expected to reach 50 billion dollars a year by 2030. The same source adds that the continent receives only 3% of global climate finance. Yet nine of the ten countries most vulnerable to climate change (90%) are in Africa. For the record, Africa generates just 4% of the world’s CO2 emissions.