Global leaders on Tuesday rallied around climate adaptation for Africa. They attended the Africa Adaptation Leaders’ Event, convened by African Union Chair President Macky Sall of Senegal, Global Center on Adaptation CEO Patrick Verkooijen, and African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina.
The event took place at the global climate summit (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. It underscored the critical need for climate adaptation in Africa and responded to the call for the capitalization of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP).
“This is a pivotal step in the fight against climate change,” African Union Chair President Macky Sall said. “The commitments made by Africa’s partners will give the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program the boost that it needs to transform the development trajectory of the world’s most climate exposed continent. I am confident in the ability of the AAAP to deliver results for Africa.”
The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program is an Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative developed by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in close collaboration with the African Union. It serves as the implementation of the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI) to mobilize $25 billion to implement, scale and accelerate climate adaptation across the Africa. Since 2021, AAAP has mainstreamed climate adaptation in over $3.5 billion of investments in 19 countries.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said: “I want to express my total solidarity for the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program […] I urge the international community to support Africa to mobilize the technical & financial resources for scaling up transformative adaptation.”
“With this innovative program, Africa has developed a plan to grow, create jobs and opportunities for people, and to be resilient against the climate crisis,” said President Akufo-Addo of Ghana. “AAAP’s singular focus on the issue of climate adaptation will also contribute to greater stability and progress in Africa and around the world. AAAP is aligned with Ghana’s plans to address climate change as it chairs the Climate Vulnerability Forum (CVF) to lead efforts from the world’s most climate vulnerable countries to spur and mobilize investment through the Climate Prosperity Plans.”
James Cleverly, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom announced that the UK will provide £200 million to the African Development Bank’s Climate Action Window. This is in addition to the £20 million announced at COP26 in Glasgow to the AAAP Upstream Financing Facility.
Cleverly noted: “Climate change is having a devastating impact on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa facing drought and extreme weather patterns, which have historically received a tiny proportion of climate finance. This new mechanism […] will see vital funds delivered to those most affected by the impacts of climate change, much more quickly.”
Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands followed through on the commitment made at the Africa Adaptation Summit held at the Global Center on Adaptation in September to confirm that the Netherlands will contribute EUR110 million to the AAAP, with EUR10 million in support for the Upstream Financing Facility hosted by GCA and EUR 100 million for the Climate Action Window of the African Development Fund at the African Development Bank as part of the Netherlands’ commitment to dedicate half of its climate funding, fully grant based, to climate adaptation, with a focus on Africa.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre echoed African leaders’ calls for countries to rapidly scale up finance for climate adaptation, stating: “The climate crisis is here and now. Years of progress are at risk.”
“The AAAP Upstream Financing Facility is the delivery mechanism of adaptation and will use millions to leverage the billions that is required for adaptation” he continued. “AAAP projects will generate effective climate adaptation outcomes. Adaptation is a growth agenda. A jobs agenda. And a prosperity agenda. On behalf of Norway, I am looking forward to continuing this partnership, investing in it, and supporting it with the Global Center on Adaptation.”
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva emphasized the need to accelerate adaptation in Africa, stating: “It is paramount to support Africa’s adaptation because Africa will not reach its tremendous potential without it. AAAP complements the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust, which helps countries address external shocks such as climate change and ensure sustainable growth that can give Africa a chance to leapfrog outdated development models.”
African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina said: “Africa is suffering from the devastating effects of climate change. Our continent is being short changed by climate finance. The contributions towards the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program’s Upstream Financing Facility and the Climate Action Window—which the African Development Bank manages—will help capitalize the program. With increased capital, we can better deliver the investment needed to bridge the adaptation finance gap. We want to ensure that the most vulnerable communities can benefit from a sustainable and prosperous future.”
Endorsing the outcomes of the high-level meeting, Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, closed with a statement emphasizing the AAAP’s impact to date, noting that “There is no pause button on the climate crisis. Africa must adapt to the threat of climate change, and it must adapt now.”
“Through the AAAP,” he continued, “Africa has charted its path towards a climate resilient future for its youth, its economic growth, and for its prosperity.”