Africa loses up to 15% of GDP per capita annually through climate change, says AfDB chief economist

Kevin Urama of the AfDB tells the Egyptian International Co-operation Forum that since the 1850s, countries have managed to move away from coal sources, use gas to transition to cleaner energy and so soften the worst impacts of climate change

Africa has been losing between 5% and 15% of its GDP per capita growth because of climate change and related impacts, but needs roughly US$1.6 trillion between 2022 and 2030 to meet its national determination contributions, the acting chief economist and vice-president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Kevin Urama, has said.

Speaking during a panel discussion – “African Countries’ Ownership in Determining the Climate Agenda” – on the sidelines of the Egypt International Co-operation Forum in Cairo last Wednesday (7 September), Urama urged developed nations to bridge the “climate financing gap”.

Many senior officials represented the AfDB at the event, notably its vice-president for power, energy, climate and green growth, Kevin Kariuki, and its vice-president for the private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation, Solomon Quaynor.

“Collectively, African countries received only US$18.3 billion in climate finance between 2016 and 2019,” Urama said. “This results in a climate finance gap of up US$1288.2 billion annually from 2020 to 2030.”

He added: “These sums reflect how the crisis is. Climate change affects Africa severely, while the continent contributes to only 3% of global emissions.

“The global community must meet its US$100 billion commitment to help the developing countries and African economies to mitigate the impacts of the climate change and to adapt to it.

“Investing in climate adaptation in the context of sustainable development is the best way to cope with the climate change impacts,” Urama said. He added that gas must remain in the continent’s plan for a gradual transition to clean energy.

The path to cleaner energy

Urama noted that, since the 1850s, countries have managed to move away from coal and have used gas as a transition to cleaner energy.

He also affirmed that Africa had great potential in green investment opportunities that the private sector, including banks, could tap in to.

The Egyptian environment minister, Yasmine Fouad, highlighted Egypt’s National Strategy for Alignment of both climate mitigation and adaptation. She said it rests on five pillars.

Fouad explained: “The first pillar focuses on how we can adopt a low-greenhouse path, which centres on the sectors around renewable transport, gas, industry and waste. The second one relates to adaptation and how best to make the communities more resilient.

“The third and fourth ones are focused on how to protect coastal zones and have more accessibility and availability of water. The last one is about the need for developing more smart and integrated concoctions and that’s the stereotype of a strategy on climate.”

Fouad added: “To fight climate change, you cannot rely on the government alone, nor the private sector alone but it’s an integration between the government, civil society and the private sector.”

Targeting sustainability

Ghada Wally, the executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and director general of the United Nations Office in Vienna, told guests at the co-operation forum: “Women and young people are among Africa’s best assets.”

She stressed the importance of exploring ways to tap in to this significant asset for the sake of the continent’s sustainable development.

Nationally determined contributions or “NDCs” are submitted by countries under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

They represent climate action pledges which aim to limit global warming, taking it to well below a 2-degree C increase level over pre-industrial levels to 1.5 degrees C.

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
99.5 in Accra, 101.5 in Bawku, 99.9 in Bimbilla, 100.3 in Cape Coast, 90.7 in Ho, 98.5 in Kumasi, 99.7 in Tamale,, U 89.5 in Tarkwa and 106.9 in Walewale
Join the conversation. Call: 020 000 9951 or 059 415 7777. Or WhatsApp: 020 000 0995.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected