Sh1.6trn war chest to fight climate change

By: BRIAN NGUGI

Kenya is set to benefit from a Sh1.6 trillion fund ($16 billion) unveiled by the World Bank Group on Tuesday, to help African countries adapt to climate change and build up the continent’s resilience to shocks associated with the phenomena.

BOOST RESILIENCE

Titled Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development, the Africa Climate Business Plan will be presented at COP21, the global climate talks in Paris, France, next week.

A statement by the World Bank says the fund will boost resilience of the continent’s assets — “its people, land, water, and cities — as well as other moves, including boosting renewable energy and strengthening early warning systems”.

“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, Mr Jim Yong Kim.

He added: “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.”

Of the Sh1.6 trillion that the ambitious plan proposes for fast-tracking climate adaptation, some $5.7 billion is expected from the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank Group that supports the poorest countries.

CLEAR PATH TO INVEST

“The Africa Climate Business Plan spells out a clear path to invest in the continent’s urgent climate needs and to fast-track the required climate finance to ensure millions of people are protected from sliding into extreme poverty,” said World Bank Group vice president for Africa, Mr Makhtar Diop.

“While adapting to climate change and mobilising the necessary resources remain an enormous challenge, the plan represents a critical opportunity to support a priority set of climate-resilient initiatives in Africa,” added Mr Diop.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION