Development Bank Heads in Africa Call for Efforts to Close Climate Finance Gap

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by KnowESG
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Before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) kicks off next month, public development banks met in Abidjan and agreed on ways to fill Africa's climate finance gap.

The third Finance in Common summit concluded on Thursday, with delegates urged to put their pledges to do more in development financing for Africa into action.

The African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank worked together to put on the summit. The theme was "Green and Just Transition for a Sustainable Recovery." It emphasised the significance of public development banks in Africa's recovery, as the continent deals with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and Russia's war in Ukraine.

In his closing speech, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said that as Africa looks ahead to COP27, development partners should work together to ensure that countries, especially the most vulnerable ones in Africa, get the resources they need to adapt to climate change and support just energy transitions.

“As we leave Abidjan, let us keep our determination strong. The world needs actions, not words. Let us turn our ideas into strong commitments, and let’s turn those strong commitments into actions,” urged Adesina.

He said that amid the social and political unrest occasioned by the global crisis, public development banks must be bold in pooling together to foster relief for the people. “We must do better in cooperating, pooling resources, and deploying financing at scale,” he added.

The role of public development banks and public financial institutions, which jointly deploy $2.3 trillion in annual financing, is critical, according to the Bank's chief.

Adesina talked about plans to set up the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa. He called it a "game-changer" to help close the investment gap in green infrastructure.

Rémy Rioux, the head of the French development agency AFD and chair of the Finance in Common executive board, was happy to see how determined the delegates were to make a difference in Africa when it came to reducing climate change and adapting to it.

 “We demonstrated our collective firepower on climate finance—but my feeling is that we are only scratching on the surface of what we can do, and to do together against environmental disruptions,” Rioux stated.

In a summary of the summit’s outcome, he said it showcased a shared vision among Finance in Common members in favor of a sustainable investment policy for development.

Thomas Östros, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, said the three-day summit met its goals. Still, work must continue.

“Thanks to this unique forum and the movement it represents, I feel confident that we, as public development banks, are more united than ever and heading in the same direction. The challenges are big, and so is our determination to work together,” he said.

He said public development banks are in a solid position to deliver a coherent message at the 2022 COP in Egypt. "This makes it possible for us to have an even bigger impact on our efforts to get private money for climate, environmental, and social problems and the Sustainable Development Goals."

Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon, President of the Caribbean Development Bank, said, “our greatest need is for a multilateralism that assures the equitable distribution of socio-economic benefits to meet diverse needs and a just transition towards development.”

In a video message, Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund, talked about how public development banks can help speed up adaptation to climate change to save millions of lives and lower the cost of natural disasters.

She said: “Public development banks bring vital resources to build resilience to current and future shocks. They also connect the private sector and governments in leveraging concessional resources for sustainable development.”

There were messages from youth groups calling on delegates to deliver on their climate commitments and the respect for human rights across workplaces. “We would like to see you walk the talk with concrete actions by involving the youth and organisations working on the field,” said youth leader Tatiana Houndjo.

Source: African Development Bank

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