THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed US$12,5 billion towards boosting climate change funding programmes in Africa for the next five years, beginning next year.
The regional bank’s president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, made the pledge at the recent United Nations General Assembly convention in New York, United States.
“Dr Adesina pledged to boost funding commitments by US$12,5 billion to help countries adapt to the effects of climate change between 2020 and 2025,” said AfDB in a statement.
“Addressing UN talks on climate change adaptation, Dr Adesina said the bank was doubling commitments to climate finance to US$25 billion for the five-year period, half of which would fund climate adaptation.”
The bank said Dr Adesina told members of the Global Commission on Adaptation during a climate adaptation summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that many African countries were facing extreme weather patterns, and needed urgent interventions hence the bank has launched the Africa disaster risk facility.
“We decided to launch the Africa disaster risk facility to ensure these countries get the resources they need to insure themselves against catastrophic risk events.
“The meeting on climate change, which was called ‘Countdown to the Climate Adaptation Summit: the Launch of the Year of Action’, was organised by the Global Commission on Adaptation, which seeks to prepare cities and farmlands for a hotter world,” it said.
AfDB said its project involved building early warning systems so that African governments know of emerging threats and an insurance scheme to provide payouts when drought, floods and other calamities strike.
It said policy-makers generally take two approaches to climate change and these were mitigation, which involves cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases to limit temperature rises while adaptation is the process of preparing for a warmer planet.
Global Commission on Adaptation chairman and former UN secretary general, Mr Ban Ki-moon, called for action to ready the world’s 300 million small-scale farmers for land degradation, drought and other impacts of climate change.