Participants harp urgent need to increase climate-adaptation finance across Africa

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By Temitope Ponle

Abuja, Sept. 21, 2022 Participants say there is urgent need to scale up financial flows from public and private sources into climate adaptation action across Africa.

In a statement issued by the African Development Bank on Tuesday, the event was held on the sidelines of the 2022 edition of Africa Climate Week (ACW).

The session was titled “Limiting Loss and Damage through Enhanced Adaptation Action in Africa”.

It featured a timely discussion of an aspect of climate change that captured and assessed the costs and damages associated with climate change.

The participants cited the bank’s Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme, a joint initiative with the Global Centre on Adaptation as a positive example to scale up climate finance adaptation across Africa.

The programme seeks to mobilise 25 billion dollars over five years to accelerate and scale climate adaptation actions across the continent.

Opening the discussion, Olufunso Somorin, a Regional Principal Officer at AfDB said it was important for African countries to measure climate change related loss and damage.

Somorin said this was to enable appropriate quantification and well-designed responses best suited to country context.

“It was also important to capture those losses occurred even in instances where preventive climate adaptation actions had been taken,” he said.

Also speakin, Fatten Agad, Africa Climate Foundation’s Senior Advisor on Climate Diplomacy and Geopolitics, called for production of a report that would serve as guidance and baseline for evaluating climate related losses and damage.

“It has already been demonstrated that the socio-economic impact faced by African countries in coping with the COVID-19 crisis has been very high.

Agad said that a burden of financing something such as loss and damage would be unfair.

Anja Beretta, Konrad Adenauer’s Director for Energy Security and Climate Change in Africa, urged African countries to integrate mechanisms to address losses and damage into their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Beretta also called for designated institutions and functioning structures to ensure the efficient and effective use of climate finance to advance the discussion on financial flows into loss and damage.

Stephane Bonamy, Head of the Regional Delegation for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Cameroon, said it was imperative for preventive measures to be place early.

“For countries that face both conflict and climate change impacts, it is imperative that preventive measures are put in place early enough to reduce the extent of loss and damage faced and lessen the burden on communities.”

Bonamy said that 14 of the 25 most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts worldwide also faced some form of conflict.

Dr Olumide Abimbola reiterated the need for more African examples of past and current loss and damage to be incorporated into textbooks and journals.

Abimbola is the Executive Director of the Africa Policy Research Institute in Berlin.

Furthermore, there was agreement among the participants on the need for Africa to prioritise timely, comprehensive and large-scale adaptation action to avert or minimise future losses and damages.

Participants also called for new strategic partnerships to drive adaptation policies, plans and investments in Africa.

This would be through the implementation of NDCs and tapping synergies with such initiatives as the Africa Disaster Risk Financing programme.

The AfDB and Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation hosted the event.

The event provided a forum to discuss the importance of defining and evaluating such losses and damages of property, economies, lives and livelihoods due to climate disasters.

ACW is an annual event that engages and empowers stakeholders to drive climate action across countries, communities and economies.

The event is organised by United Nations Climate Change in collaboration with global partners.

They are the UN Development Programme, the UN Environment Programme and the World Bank Group.

Partners in the region include the Africa Union, the AfDB, and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. (UNECA).

ACW 2022 was held in Gabon.