By Favour Nnabugwu
Additional funding from international donors has been identified as a key requirement for fighting the effects of climate change in Africa.
Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has urged the Lead Group at the 12th plenary session of the Lead Group held in Abuja recently to finance Africa Risk Capacity with $30 billion.The Leading Group was founded in 2006 as a platform with 63 member countries at differing levels of development, alongside international organisations and NGOs, which seeks to promote the implementation and definition of innovative financing mechanisms around the world.
Okonjo-Iweala is of the believe that the Lead Group can develop a more sustainable and innovative means of funding developments to complement the United Nations’ funding to developing countries in Africa.
She said the Lead Group is expected to deliberate on financing Africa’s humanitarian and developmental needs as they are imperative to the global economy.
She said the funding is critical to weather based insurance instrument in the continent. She further noted that the Lead Group has all that is required to release the $30billion within three weeks to support Africa, adding that the fund would ease the long delay of United Nations release of funds
In the same vein, French Minister for Development, Mr Pascal Canfin advised countries to first of all understand the concept of innovative funding and called for partnerships between the public and private sectors in order to mobilise more financial resources for development.
The African continent has warmed about half a degree over the last century and the average annual temperature is likely to rise an average of 1.5-4°C by 2099, according to the most recent estimates from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“Africa is becoming the most exposed region in the world to the impacts of climate change. In Sub-Saharan Africa extreme weather will cause dry areas to become drier and wet areas wetter; agriculture yields will suffer from crop failures; and diseases will spread to new altitudes. By 2030 it is expected that 90 million more people in Africa will be exposed to malaria, already the biggest killer in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
The consideration of the funding, according to Okonjo- Iweala, will reinforce the countries’ ability to respond to current climate variability, thereby improving their readiness to address the higher climatic variability of the future.
The Nigeria’s Minister of Finance said the environmental effects of climate change will have a direct impact on the economic development of many African countries.
In agriculture, She said , as much as nine to 20 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s arable land will become much less suitable for farming by 2080. Overall, even a 2°C warming above pre-industrial temperatures could result in permanent reductions in annual per capita consumption of four to five percent for Africa.
“The strategy is based on the premise that increased climate variability threatens the development gains of African countries, and that these effects need to be anticipated so that development efforts can be made more resilient to climate change”. The strategy calls for mainstreaming support for climate actions into countries development agendas along four pillars
“Making adaptation and climate risk management a core developmental component with a particular focus on sustainable water resources, land, and forest management, integrated coastal development, increased agricultural productivity, health problems, and conflict and migration issues”.