Climate change may lead to an equivalent annual GDP loss of 10-20% in Africa by 2100
Climate change and extreme weather events pose severe threats to Africa’s food systems. Rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns are likely to increase the frequency of crop failures.
At the same time, the continent’s access to international climate finance remains low and insufficient, with access to only 5 per cent of the total global finance, said a new report.
ADAPT: Policy innovations to unlock climate finance for resilient food systems in Africa, published December 5, 2022, called for action to plug the climate adaptation finance gap, estimated at $41.3 billion (Rs 3.4 trillion) annually.
The report was launched by a panel of experts from the Malabo Montpellier Forum in Dakar, Senegal. The panel convenes 18 leading agriculture, engineering, ecology, nutrition and food security experts.
It aims to facilitate policy choices of African governments to accelerate progress towards food security and improved nutrition.
The agri-food sector alone employs about two-third of the total workforce in Africa. It contributes to an average of 30-60 per cent to gross domestic product (GDP) and about 30 per cent to export earnings per country.
Given the situation, climate change may lead to an equivalent annual GDP loss of 10-20 per cent in Africa by 2100.
The report analysed four African countries — Benin, Mali, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
It highlighted how dedicated action at the government level — through strategic policies, institutional innovations and other interventions — can unlock significant climate finance for resilient and sustainable transformation of the food system.
The analysis lauded the efforts taken by Benin in mobilising climate finance towards transforming food systems.
The government of Benin ensured that its national resources were optimised to address the impacts of climate change. The country has also issued guidelines on mainstreaming climate change across sectors and sub-national levels.
Mali’s government has mobilised significant climate funds over the last decade, driven mainly by close partnerships with international development partners.
These funds supported the establishment of a scientific basis and community-level capacity to address the impacts of climate change.
The government of Rwanda has invested heavily in establishing new, innovative and world-class institutions to mobilise climate finance, such as the National Fund for Environment. Such investments supported a demand-led approach to bridge funding gaps.
The report also referred to the case of Zimbabwe, where the government has collaborated with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to design the GCF Country Programme. It is a four-year-long plan to ensure the country’s readiness to mobilise climate finance from the GCF.
It comes after the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where the impacts of climate change on food security were highlighted.
The document put forward several recommendations to mobilise climate adaptation finance for resilient food systems.
For instance, it suggested the systematic alignment of the food and climate agendas. It also called for building technical knowledge and capacity that straddle climate, agriculture and finance across government.
Climate change adaptation and resilience-building should be mainstreamed into policies and investment decision-making.
Develop a pipeline of bankable projects focused on food systems and related infrastructures, supported by investible adaptation plans, the report said. Locally-led adaptation efforts should be supported to ensure that resilience-building interventions meet the needs of the most vulnerable and have a sustainable impact.
The assessment also called for scaling up efforts to attract private capital for adaptation across food systems; designing reliable tracking mechanisms and simple digital tools to record climate finance flow at the national level.
Streamline, coordinate and rationalise policies at donor institutions to unlock opportunities for recipient countries to access more and better finance, it added.
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