World Bank seeks to shield African countries from climate change shocks

By: IMMACULATE KARAMBU

The World Bank Group has started fundraising to help African countries adapt to climate change and boost the continent’s resilience to climate shocks.

In the fundraising plan announced on Tuesday, the global lender is seeking to raise Sh1.6 trillion ($16 billion) from its internal sources, development institutions and the private sector.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is highly vulnerable to climate shocks and our research shows that could have far-reaching impact. 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,” said World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim in a statement.

The undertaking comes just days ahead of the global climate talks that are set to take place in Paris at the end of this month where the bank will be seeking support for the program.

Of the total amount required, Sh581 billion ($5.7 billion) is expected from the International development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank that lends to poor countries.

About Sh224 billion ($2.2 billion) is expected from various existing climate finance instruments, $2 billion from development institutions and Sh357 billion ($3.5billion) from the private sector.

CLEAR PATH

“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 Makhtar Diop, World Bank Group vice president for Africa.

He added that the programme presents a key opportunity to support a set of climate resilient initiatives in Africa where mobilising the necessary resources has remained a challenge.

The World Bank supported climate change programme will focus on boosting consumption of renewable energy in the continent.

It will also focus on protection of the continent’s water bodies and forest cover as well as include design of efficient and clean transport infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions.

The programme will also include data collection to gather information on the progress of climate resilient developments across the various sectors in the region.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION