African nations believe financing to help developing countries deal with climate change should be scaled up to $1.6 trillion per year by 2030, a researcher said Tuesday.
“The climate finance gap is huge,” Olufunso Somorin (PhD), Regional Principal Officer for Climate Change and Green Growth at African Development Bank said, adding, “At a global level there’s a range we’re talking of 1.6 trillion to $3.8 trillion in each year.”
“If we use a base, the smallest rate, which is $1.6 trillion, what we have right now it’s about $600 billion in a year. Therefore, there’s a gap of about $1 trillion every year,” he said.
Most African countries need the climate change finances. “So, just imagine if we’re able to improve from $600 billion to a little up to a trillion dollars, or even 1.6 trillion and that money is available for African countries; we will see a lot of developments in our contracts,” he said.
In Africa, a lot of countries are spending a significant portion of their annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in responding to climate change—it’s very expensive, Dr. Somorin said.
Think about a country with a GDP of about $100 billion a year, he says. “If they are spending 7% of this amount to respond to climate impacts; that are the money it should have gone to education, infrastructure, for better health services and to purchase food to avoid starvation; that’s the cost of it,” he said.
Alex Benkenstein, Programme Head for Governance of Africa’s Resources at South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) also admits that the economic impacts of climate change are severe for the continent.
Tropical storms, wildfires, flooding, and droughts, among others are some of the impacts of climate change. “These economic costs are real, they’ve been felt now, likely to increase and they are already very substantial,” he stressed.
Scholars suggested that Africans must demand climate change finance from wealthier nations during the COP27. Most of the climate change financing in Africa are skewed towards mitigation than adaptation, they said.
SAIIA, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Foundation in Ethiopia and KAS Energy Security and Climate Sub-Saharan Africa jointly organized two-days high-level international conference in Hyatt Regency Hotel in Addis Abeba focused on “Towards an African Adaptation Finance Agenda for COP27”