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US President Joseph Biden’s special envoy for Climate, Secretary John Kerry, and the African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina have held a virtual meeting ahead of November’s global climate summit, COP26.
They discussed Africa’s climate emergency, preparations for COP26 and how the US can help close the annual $27 billion climate finance gap for Africa.
Dr. Adesina praised President Biden’s bold announcement doubling the US government’s contribution to climate finance to $11.4 billion a year by 2024.
The African Development Bank is taking strong actions to tackle climate change on the continent and has committed to doubling its climate finance to $25 billion by 2025.
The Bank is spearheading efforts to mobilise increased private sector financing for climate change through several initiatives, including the Africa Financial Alliance for Climate Change.
It is mobilising all financial institutions, the private sector and stock markets to increase their investments in green and clean energy.
“It is time to move from billions to trillions of dollars of investments in climate financing to build Africa’s resilience, and the private sector must play a much larger role,” Dr. Adesina said.
Dr. Adesina also briefed Secretary Kerry about the Bank’s bold initiatives, including investment in the construction of the world’s largest solar power zone.
The Desert-to-Power project will generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity for 250 million people.
In addition, the Bank and the Global Center for Adaptation have launched the African Adaptation Acceleration Program to mobilise an additional $12.5 billion to scale up climate adaptation and resilience across the continent.
The African Development Bank is using its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa to support the development and promotion of renewable energy.
Dr. Adesina called on developed countries to meet their promise to provide $100 billion annually to support developing countries to tackle the impact of climate change, build climate adaptation and resilience.
“The leadership and strong support of the United States for the Desert-to-Power program, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the African Adaptation Acceleration Program will be critical for success at scale.”
Secretary Kerry commended the leadership of the African Development Bank. He said: “These initiatives for climate financing by the African Development Bank are bold ideas and they will help change the picture on climate financing for Africa.”
Secretary Kerry added that the US government will provide strong support and partnership towards the success of Africa’s climate change initiatives.