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False start for African Green Fund

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The African Green Fund could have a false start if the United Nations climate parties fail to stitch a deal that will compel 37 developed countries to pour in over $30 billion for climate change adaptation and mitigation programmes, African Development Bank (AfDB) has said.

AfDB manager (Agriculture and Agro-Industry) Abdoulaye Dagamaissa said Africa was anticipating the flow of billions of dollars from developed countries to address devastating impacts of climate change, but indications were that funds could take longer to come.

“Negotiations are at a delicate stage, and if parties fail to agree then it means the continental green fund won’t be set up. We wanted a situation where, once the deal was sealed all the monies could be channelled to Africa through the AfDB. Already depending on the needs of individual countries, we have advanced $1,3 billion for adaptation and $200 million for mitigation,” he said.

“We believe Africa needs more funds for adaptation than mitigation. The hope of millions of vulnerable Africans will depend on funding that is mobilised, managed and disbursed in a just and effective manner.”
Dagamaissa said it was important to recognise the amount of funding and the number of institutions involved, adding coherence in global architecture would be meaningless without democratic governance of funds at local level.

The fund, he said would ensure a balance between adaptation and mitigation in improving agriculture as well as food security.

Although the negotiation process is highly charged, AfDB hopes progress could be achieved in the next week to ensure mobilisation of financial resources from donors to assist vulnerable groups in the world’s most affected region.

“Climate change is fundamentally a matter of political economy.

“The nature and trajectory of economic development in Africa depends on the state of infrastructure services (energy, water, transport, roads, etc), the commitment to rural development and sustainability issues, and improved public finance management,” Dagamaissa said.

“These sectors also happen to be crucial to the national response to climate change. The needs of developing countries should be made a priority.”

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