The United Kingdom has announced new funding to support African governments to roll-out critical adaptation projects so at-risk communities can adapt to the impact of extreme weather and changing climates.
COP26 President Alok Sharma announced the new UK support for the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) – an initiative endorsed by African Union leaders and led by the African Development Bank, Global Centre on Adaptation and the Africa Adaptation Initiative, to back African-led plans to accelerate resilience-building across Africa.
A statement by UK High Commission in Nigeria said: “Yesterday’s announcements came on the second day of COP26, the two-week UN Climate Change Conference, where world leaders are meeting with the aim to agree how to tackle the urgent threat of global climate change.”
The statement also said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also announced that the UK is offering an ambitious new guarantee mechanism – the ‘Room to Run’ guarantee – to the African Development Bank (AfDB).
This, it said, is expected to unlock up to £1.45 billion ($2 billion) worth of new financing for projects across the continent, half of which will help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The statement quoted UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, to have said: “More finance for African nations to develop and adapt to climate change is important as these countries find themselves on the frontline of impacts. It is a huge investment opportunity.
“By combining our cash with other donors and businesses, and working with partners such as the African Development Bank to direct funding into green projects, today we are delivering on our commitment to African-led climate adaptation.”
UK Minister for Africa Vicky Ford, was quoted to have said: “For communities across Africa, the impact of climate change is being felt right now. From cyclones in Southern Africa to locusts in East Africa, changing weather patterns are already having catastrophic impacts for communities living across the continent, impacting lives and jobs. This is despite African nations being responsible for just 2-3% of global emissions.
“New support announced today will enable African countries to adapt to a changing climate and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. This is essential if communities and countries are to thrive in an uncertain future.”
The statement recalled that the UK is a long-standing supporter of Africa’s adaptation to climate change, with around half of the UK’s £2.7 billion ($3.7 billion) adaptation budget between 2016 and 2020 spent in Africa.
Speaking also, the UK’S Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, said: “Africa is already bearing the brunt of climate impacts as a consequence of dangerous climate chance. The need to scale up adaptation finance to protect the people and economies from the impact of climate change is clear.
“Climate action, building resilience and sustainable development are inextricably linked. Working with key partners such as the African Development Bank and others, this new suite of programmes will support African countries, including Nigeria, to adapt to the effects of climate change.”
According to the statement, the £143.5 million of programmes to support African countries to adapt to the impact of extreme weather and changing climate newly announced include: £20 million to the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), which is a $25 billion joint initiative endorsed by African Union leaders and led by the African Development Bank, Global Centre on Adaptation and the Africa Adaptation Initiative, to support African countries in designing and implementing transformational adaptation of their economies and post-COVID recovery development paths.
It also include £42 million of adaptation allocations under the new Africa Regional Climate and Nature Programme (ARCAN), which will include support to the World Bank to support cooperation on the management and development of shared water resources; to the Met Office’s WISER3 programme to improve the uptake of weather and climate information; and technical assistance to African partners to integrate climate considerations into policy making and access and utilise climate finance to benefit those most vulnerable.
At least £22 million of premium financing support to help African countries pay for drought insurance, delivering on the £120 million commitment made by the UK at Carbis Bay for premium financing and investments into the regional risk pools in Africa, Caribbean, South East Asia and Pacific.
£19.5 million for the Shock Response Programme in the Sahel, including support to the World Bank to strengthen government social protection systems in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger that improve people’s ability to cope when shocks occur; and support to the Centre for Disaster Protection to improve use of early warning systems and disaster risk financing.
The UK has committed £40 million to the Climate Adaptation and Resilience research programme (CLARE) to support action-focused research to inform development in a changing climate in Africa. CLARE is jointly funded by the UK and Canada. It will generate new knowledge, practical tools and approaches to support those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and related natural hazards, such as floods, droughts and heatwaves.
In addition: A new ‘Room to Run’ guarantee to the African Development Bank (AfDB) is expected to unlock up to £1.45bn ($2bn) worth of new financing for projects across the continent, half of which will help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. For example, this finance is expected to support the AfDB’s work on generating high-quality climate data to help countries plan for future impacts, building resilient infrastructure and helping farmers increase their resilience to drought. This will support the objectives of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme. The guarantee is subject to Parliamentary notification and final African Development Bank approval. We expect the guarantee to be live from early 2022, following final scrutiny processes and the signing of formal agreements.
·According to the World Bank, climate change could reduce GDP by 6% in many African countries by 2050, and up to 132 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030.
The UK has also doubled its international climate finance to £11.6 billion over five years – with a balance between adaptation and mitigation.
Adaptation, including increasing finance for adaptation, has been central to the UK’s COP26 Presidency – under the UK’s incoming presidency, finance providers have committed to ambitious increases which collectively amount to billions in additional finance for adaptation compared to 2020 levels.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja