To fight climate change, western countries must make good on their promises and provide funding to Africa.
“We need good projects and capital. We must focus on these problems in Africa”. These were the words of Samaila Zubairu, Chairman and CEO of Africa Finance Corporation. A less prosaic Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), called for the use of the “power of nature through lakes, mangroves and forests, which may have a more significant impact”. He added, “We need to diversify the way we finance climate adaptation. We also need to develop investment instruments so that the private sector can contribute to solving the climate crisis”.
On the matter of financing, Verkooijen reminded western countries about the importance of making good on the promises they made in Glasgow to provide $32 billion in funding to Africa and support climate change adaptation initiatives. To date, only $6 billion has been received. If African countries had the full amount at their disposal, they would be able to invest in job creation, training programs for young people and crisis management, among others. In his contribution, the CEO of the GCA stated, “It is time that we amplify Africa’s voice and deal with the adverse effects caused by other countries, but which are felt on the continent”.
Availability of green financing
Regional Vice President for Africa at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Sergio Pimenta, indicated that the corporation focuses on “filling the gap” when it provides green financing to fight climate change. The IFC is committed to providing green bonds to companies. Since companies are as equally impacted by climate change as the public sector, they also have a role to play in solving the climate crisis.
This notion is shared by the West African Development Bank (WADB), which invested just under $4 billion in recent years. A total sum of $20.4 billion is earmarked for this purpose as part of its 2021-2025 strategic plan. The bank benefits from the support of its investors, who tend to shy away from this type of financing for a variety of reasons. “Investors are ready to lend us their support in the event that we meet certain criteria, such as the ability to provide data to measure the environmental and social impact of the proposed actions”, said Serges Ekué, President of the WADB, adding that the bank pays particular attention to climate change adaptation. The WADB has the support of three green finance funds.
Sidi Ould Tah, the Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), similarly explained how his financial institution helps countries implement climate mitigation and adaptation policies. It also finances studies to design projects. He believes that it is important for all committed players to work together and find conclusive results. For Franziska Hollmann, Director of Industries & Services, Africa & EMECA, we must act now, adopt a long-term vision and be fully aware of the need to finance climate-related actions.