African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina announced the launch of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) to mobilise $25 billion to scale up and accelerate climate change adaptation actions across Africa.
The announcement came on 25 January during the Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) 2021, hosted by the government of the Netherlands and the Global Center on Adaptation.
The AAAP, a joint initiative between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), is expected to scale up innovative and transformative actions on climate adaptation across Africa, Adesina said during the inaugural Ministerial Dialogue on Adaptation Action, held as part of the summit.
“Our ambition is bold: to galvanise climate resilience actions; support countries to accelerate and scale up climate adaptation and resilience, and mobilise financing at scale for climate adaptation in Africa,” the Bank chief said.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis formed a backdrop to the meeting, a fact Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte acknowledged in his opening statement. The Netherlands has taken a lead role globally in harnessing the energy and entrepreneurship of the youth and developing nature-based solutions.
“I hope that 2021 will be a year of heightened international ambition and action on climate change, after a difficult 2020, and this conference will help achieve that goal,” Rutte said.
Setting high goals for climate finance
Acknowledging the “huge gaps” remaining in financing for adaptation in developing countries, the UN Secretary-General called for 50% of all climate finance provided by developed countries and multilateral development Banks to be allocated to adaptation and resilience in developing countries, noting, “the African Development Bank set the bar in 2019 by allocating over half of its climate financing to adaptation”.
A number of speakers acknowledged Africa’s vulnerability to climate change, as well as Africans’ innovative responses to challenges.
Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the country was working with the private sector with the assistance of the Green Climate Fund, “to establish a multimillion-dollar green fund to support our climate adaptation interventions and our efforts to transition to renewable energy”.
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Initiatives to deliver resilience
The AfDB head participated in three sessions and outlined a number of Bank initiatives, including the $20 billion Desert to Power project to create a solar zone in the Sahel, the largest in the world.
“Our Youth Adaptation flagship will unlock $3 billion for the youth, support 10,000 youth-led SMEs in climate resilience, and build capacity for one million youth on climate adaptation,” Adesina said.
The Bank’s TAAT initiative has leveraged $450 million and provided 19 million farmers in 27 countries with climate-resilient agricultural technologies, raising average yields by 60%.
Adesina also acknowledged that the presence of John Kerry, the US special envoy for climate, provided a boost to global climate efforts. “With you in charge, and the strong and palpable leadership of President Biden, we are reenergized on the global agenda on climate change,” Adesina said.
The Climate Adaptation Summit, held annually, aims to answer Secretary-General Guterres call for more concrete plans and more ambition from more countries and more businesses to make the world more climate-resilient.
The Global center On Adaptation is a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions around the world.
Adesina was joined in addressing the summit by Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. World Bank president David Malpass and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva also spoke.
Adesina thanked Ban Ki Moon for his role in the establishment of GCA’s regional office for Africa in Abidjan last year, which is hosted by the Bank.