Africa may need an almost tenfold increase in climate adaptation funding to $100 billion a year if it’s to buttress its infrastructure, improve weather early warning systems and shield its agriculture from climate change, the Global Center on Adaptation said.
Current adaptation finance flows of about $11 billion a year in 2020 are well below the $52.7 billion the continent’s nations have said they need and that estimate may only be half of the actual amount required, the Hague-based organization said in a report released on Tuesday at the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.
While Africa produces only about 4% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions its nations are among those hardest hit by climate change. The Horn of Africa region is currently experiencing its worst drought in at least four decades, southeast Africa is regularly hit by cyclones and torrential rains and flooding has occurred from South Africa to Uganda and Nigeria in the last year.
“As climate change impacts accelerate globally, adaptation efforts have become an urgent imperative,” the center said in its report. “This is especially true in the most vulnerable regions, including Africa.”
The GCA study assessed the nationally determined contributions submitted by African countries to the United Nations, with only 28 of the continent’s 54 countries that included cost estimates for adaptation in their submissions. That led the GCA to estimate that the amount the nations state they require is about 50% of what they will actually need.
Current adaptation flows to the continent are also concentrated, with 10 nations receiving more than half of the funds and the bottom 10 nations getting less than 1%, the GCA said. Of that finance 54% is in the form of loans, exacerbating the countries’ debt burdens. Development finance institutions and governments contribute 95% of the funding and just 0.3% from the private sector. The rest comes from multilateral climate funds and philanthropies.
“The private sector has the most potential to increase financing for adaptation,” the GCA said. “In South and East Asia, the private sector invests nearly 40% of total climate finance flows,” which includes both adaptation and mitigation funding such as the construction of renewable energy plants, it said.
Still, 39% of climate finance flows to Africa are for adaptation, significantly above the global figure of 7% of the $653 billion in climate investments in 2019-20.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is the largest recipient of international adaptation finance, receiving roughly 25% of international adaptation flows in 2019-2020,” the GCA said. “However, the adaptation finance flows are nowhere close to the needs of the region in absolute terms.”