Six weeks ahead of this year’s global climate summit (COP26), African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina on Thursday spoke out on the urgent need to finance climate adaptation. He called on the developed world to deliver on its promise of $100 billion per year for climate change.
The African Development Bank chief was commenting a day after United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres made his keynote address to the United Nations General Assembly – a speech in which the UN chief spoke of a planet “sleepwalking to disaster.”
Guterres sounded alarm bells for a world buffeted by climate change, conflicts, and the global pandemic of Covid-19. He called for “coalitions of solidarity” to address inequality, instability, climate change and what he said was the planetary emergency of our time.
The UN Secretary General lauded the great strides of the African Development Bank. “The African Development Bank set the bar in 2019 by allocating half of its climate finance to adaptation. Some donor countries have followed their lead. All must do so,” Guterres said. “My message to every member state is this: Don’t wait for others to make the first move. Do your part.”
Adesina welcomed the UN Secretary General’s message and recognition of the African Development Bank’s actions. He said action and not promises in the key areas of mitigation, finance and adaptation are critical.
“Action to avoid the worst impacts of the climate disaster must start with developed countries making true on their commitment of “new, additional” and predictable climate finance from a floor of $100 billion per year. We must boost Africa’s capacity for climate adaptation,” Adesina said.
In 2019 the African Development Bank invested $10.3 billion in development projects on the continent. Some $3.6 billion of this went to climate finance. This was a four-fold increase from 2016. In 2020, the Bank invested 63% of its climate finance in adaptation, surpassing the 50:50 parity for climate mitigation and adaptation called for by the United Nations.