A new plan created by the World Bank is aiming to fast-track the climate resilience and low-carbon development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Revealed on Tuesday, the new plan calls for $16 billion to be invested to help Africa’s people and countries adapt to the rapidly changing climate, and build up the continent’s resilience to future climate shocks. The plan, Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development: the Africa Climate Business Plan, will be presented at the upcoming United Nations climate conference in Paris which starts on November 30, and lays out measures in which African countries can boost the resilience of their assets and boost renewable energy development.
“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,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “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.”
“Africa’s climate and development agendas are inextricably linked: if unaddressed, climate variability and change will jeopardize Africa’s hard-won development achievements and its aspirations for further growth and poverty reduction,” the report opens, which immediately goes on to claim that “Climate drivers are involved in most of the shocks that keep or push African households into poverty.”
This is driven home further by three inextricably linked climate factors that threaten African development: warming is unavoidable; further warming may materialize; and considerable uncertainty exists on what the warming impact will be on local weather patterns and hydrological cycles.
“The consequences of climate change for Africa are devastating and threaten to push millions of people into extreme poverty by 2030, largely due to lower crop yields and higher food prices, and negative health impacts,” said Benoit Bosquet, World Bank Practice Manager in the Environment & Natural Resources Global Practice. “In light of the huge financing gap and the need for urgent action, the World Bank prepared the Africa Climate Business Plan as an important step in mobilizing climate finance to fast-track Africa’s climate adaptation needs in the context of development priorities.”
In light of the largely unavoidable factors impacting Africa, the World Bank report created a dozen priority areas of adaptation, grouped into three clusters:
- Strengthening resilience, which includes initiatives aimed at boosting the continent’s natural capital (landscapes, forests and oceans), physical capital (cities and transport infrastructure), and human and social capital, including improving social protection for the more vulnerable against climate shocks and addressing the climate-related drivers of migration
- Powering resilience, which includes opportunities to increase low-carbon energy sources as societies with inadequate energy sources are more vulnerable to climate shocks, and
- Enabling resilience by providing essential data, information and decision-making tools for promoting climate-resilient development across sectors through strengthening hydro-met systems at the regional and country level, and through building the capacity to plan and design climate-resilient investments.
“The plan is a ‘win-win’ for all especially the people in Africa who have to adapt to climate change and work to mitigate its impacts,” said Jamal Saghir, the World Bank’s Senior Regional Adviser for Africa. “We look forward to working with African governments and development partners, including the private sector, to move this plan forward and deliver climate smart development.”