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Friday, May 17, 2019
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 24 2015 (IPS) - When the Climate Summit opens in Paris next week, one of the biggest issues facing world leaders is funding: how best to raise the billions of dollars needed to prevent the devastating consequences of global warming worldwide.
A new plan unveiled Tuesday calls for 16 billion dollars in funding to help African countries adapt to climate change and build up the continent’s resilience to climate shocks, according to the World Bank Group and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
At current estimates, the plan says the African region requires 5-10 billion dollars per year to adapt to global warming of 2°C.
However, the cost of managing climate resilience will continue to rise to 20-50 billion dollars by mid-century, and closer to 100 billion dollars, in the event of a 4°C warming.
Titled ‘Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development’, the Africa Climate Business Plan will be presented at the Conference of Parties (COP21), the global climate talks in Paris Nov 30- Dec 11, and lays out measures to boost the resilience of the continent’s assets – its people, land, water, and cities – including 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,” the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, said in a statement released here.
“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.”
Asked for her response, Doreen Stabinsky, Zennström visiting professor of climate change leadership at Uppsala University in Sweden, told IPS the costs of addressing climate change impacts on Africa are already huge and must be added to the current finance priorities of African countries of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
“Indeed these sums estimated by the World Bank are first needed just to protect the development gains of the past few decades and really emphasize the injustice of the climate crisis for developing countries: at a time when their own resources and foreign assistance should be invested in development, they must spend scarce funds on adapting to a problem they did not cause, and suffering losses and damages from impacts they cannot adapt to.”
She said the estimates also show the gross inadequacy of climate finance on the table.
The Global Climate Fund (GCF), she pointed out, has a meager 10 billion dollars pledged in its first tranche — to cover both mitigation and adaptation efforts across the entire developing world — and only half of that sum has yet been delivered.
If adaptation costs for Africa alone are currently 5-10 billion dollars per year, support from those responsible for climate change — developed countries — has to be scaled up significantly.
“Whether or not this scale of resources is pledged in Paris should be a significant determining factor of success at COP21”, said Stabinsky, who was also Professor of Global Environmental Politics at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Of the 16.1 billion dollars the ambitious plan proposes for fast-tracking climate adaptation, some 5.7 billion dollars are expected from the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank Group that supports the poorest countries.
About 2.2 billion dollars are 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, according to the World Bank Group and UNEP.
“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,” says 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,” he noted.
Stabinsky told IPS the World Bank announcement, unfortunately, fails to lay out what proportion of this money will come from grants and from loans.
Adapting to climate change is an additional burden being placed on developing countries — it’s not a business proposition where profits can be earned. Loans are not appropriate for adaptation finance, she added.
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