THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has initiated plans to double the amount of climate finance for Africa between 2020 and 2025 to $25 billion.
The bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Dr Kevin Kariuki, disclosed this at a virtual meeting with the media on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, ahead of the bank’s 2022 Annual Meeting next month.
Kariuki, who spoke on the theme, ‘Achieving climate resilience and a just energy transition for Africa’, explained that the bank had spent $13 billion in previous years.
He said, “For the next five years, between 2020 and 2025, we intend to double the amount of climate finance – in other words, funding – that is available to support African countries being resilient, to aid adaptation.
“We would double that money to $25bn over the next five years. All the last five years, we spent $13bn in this regard. This is something that would be with us for the next 20 years, and we intend to focus on adaptation.”
Kariuki explained that in the previous year, 67 per cent out of the money dedicated to climate finance went to adaptation, adding that in the current year, a 50 per cent margin would be given to adaptation.
He also explained that the AfDB would no longer invest in coal investments, but focus on gas alone.
He said,” We need to look at all non-coal and non-nuclear energy sources, including gas. From where we stand, a gas project has been included as part of the bank’s initiatives. Coal is out, but the bank remains committed to financing gas projects.”
AfDB’s commitment to Nigeria
Speaking about the bank’s commitment to supporting Nigeria, Kariuki, in response to a question, stressed the AfDB’s desire to help the country on its transition plan, but noted that Nigeria did not seem ready nor did it have the right documents for a tangible plan.
He said, “Right now, the bank is committed to supporting Nigeria but we do not have a clear view of what projects would emanate from the transition plan it is formulating and the long-term plan strategy has not been developed.
“Once the long-term plan evolves into a long term strategy and you formulate a transition plan then, that is when we can say there is a number of credible projects to be financed. Otherwise, I have met the government of Nigeria personally and we have committed to supporting Nigeria in that transition process but there are some foundational documents required in the first instance for us to interrogate the transition and indicate the extent we should formulate those plans.”
Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osibajo, had, at a virtual event on climate finance themed, ‘Climate Finance and a Just, Equitable Energy Transition for Africa’, declared Nigeria’s commitment to net zero emission by 2060, but added that would require the support and partnership of other stakeholders.
Osibajo explained that an immediate priority was to create 20m jobs and rebuild industries, and added that the nation must add more than 200 gigawatts of new power capacity, principally utility-scale solar by 2060.
The Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry at the AfDB, Martin Fregene, said at the media conference that the bank had set aside more than a billion dollars to caution against the current food price crisis.
Fregene stated that the fund, which was up to the tune of $1.5bn, would be utilised to support farmers with fertiliser in the wet season of the southern hemisphere to bridge the supply gap in fertiliser.
Fregene also explained that the bank was on a mission to help farmers produce more than 100m tonnes of food that would reach 200m people.