African nations aim to double funding for climate change adaptation projects to $25 billion over five years as they look to foster a green recovery from the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
The continent most vulnerable to environmental shifts has already secured $12.5 billion from the African Development Bank for a newly launched Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program and expects to secure the balance at the next two United Nations Climate Change Conferences, Patrick Verkooijen, chief executive officer of the Global Center on Adaptation, said in an interview.
Africa currently loses $7 billion to $15 billion a year due to climate change and that is likely to increase to as much as $50 billion or 3% of continent-wide gross domestic product annually by 2040 without investment in adaptation strategies, Verkooijen said. Africa last year had its first recession in a quarter-century, according to the African Export-Import Bank.
“African leaders want to use the Covid-19 crisis as a reset moment for the current crisis and to prepare for the next one,” Verkooijen said. “We are still increasing carbon emissions to the atmosphere and the implications are exponential.”
Bloomberg’s Prinesha Naidoo contributed to this report.