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World Bank Group unveils US$16 billion Africa climate business plan


The World Bank Group today unveiled a new plan that calls for US$16 billion in funding to help African people and countries adapt to climate change and build up the continent's resilience to climate shocks.

Titled Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development, the Africa Climate Business Plan will be presented at COP21, the global climate talks in Paris, on November 30. It lays out measures to boost the resilience of the continent's assets - its people, land, water, and cities - as well as other moves including boosting renewable energy and strengthening early warning systems.

"Sub-Saharan Africa is highly vulnerable to climate shocks, and our research shows that could have far-ranging impact -- on everything from child stunting and malaria to food price increases and droughts," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "This plan identifies concrete steps that African governments can take to ensure that their countries will not lose hard-won gains in economic growth and poverty reduction, and they can offer some protection from climate change."

Per current estimates, the plan says that the region requires $5-10 billion per year to adapt to global warming of 2°C.

The World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme estimate that the cost of managing climate resilience will continue to rise to $20-50 billion by mid-century, and closer to $100 billion in the event of a 4°C warming.

Of the $16.1 billion that the ambitious plan proposes for fast-tracking climate adaptation, some $5.7 billion is expected from the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank Group that supports the poorest countries. About $2.2 billion is expected from various climate finance instruments, $2.0 billion from others in the development community, $3.5 billion from the private sector, and $0.7 billion from domestic sources, with an additional $2.0 billion needed to deliver on the plan.

"The Africa Climate Business Plan spells out a clear path to invest in the continent's urgent climate needs and to fast-track the required climate finance to ensure millions of people are protected from sliding into extreme poverty," explains Makhtar Diop, World Bank Group Vice President for Africa. "While adapting to climate change and mobilizing the necessary resources remain an enormous challenge, the plan represents a critical opportunity to support a priority set of climate-resilient initiatives in Africa."

The plan will boost the region's ability to adapt to a changing climate while reducing greenhouse emissions, focusing on a number of concrete actions. It identifies a dozen priority areas for action that will enhance Africa's capacity to adapt to the adverse consequences of climate variation and change.

The first area for action aims to boost the resilience of the continent's assets. These comprise natural capital (landscapes, forests, agricultural land, inland water bodies, oceans); physical capital (cities, transport infrastructure, physical assets in coastal areas); and human and social capital (where efforts should include improving social protection for the people most vulnerable to climate shocks, and addressing climate-related drivers of migration).

The second area for action focuses on powering resilience, including opportunities for scaling up low-carbon energy sources. In addition to helping mitigate climate change, these activities offer considerable resilience benefits, as societies with inadequate access to energy are also more vulnerable to climate shocks.

And the third area for action will enable resilience by providing essential data, information and decision-making tools for climate-resilient development across sectors. This includes strengthening hydro-met systems at the regional and country levels, and building capacity to plan and design climate-resilient investments.

"The plan is a 'win-win' for all especially the people in Africa who have to adapt to climate change and work to mitigate its impacts," said Jamal Saghir, the World Bank's Senior Regional Adviser for Africa. "We look forward to working with African governments and development partners, including the private sector, to move this plan forward and deliver climate smart development."

The Africa Climate Business Plan reflects contributions and inputs from a wide variety of partners with whom the Bank is already collaborating on the ground, in a coordinated effort to increase Africa's resilience to climate variability and change. The plan aims to help raise awareness and accelerate resource mobilization for the region's critical climate-resilience and low-carbon initiatives.

The plan warns that unless decisive action is taken, climate variability and change could seriously jeopardize the region's hard-won development gains and its aspirations for further growth and poverty reduction. And it comes in the wake of Bank analysis which indicates climate change could push up to 43 million more Africans into poverty by 2030.

Credit: World Bank Group

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