From Gabon to Egypt: GCA at Africa Climate Week to advance an adaptation breakthrough for Africa at COP27

GCA joined over 2,300 leaders and stakeholders from across the globe in Libreville, Gabon to push forward regional collaboration for climate action as part of Africa Climate Week 2022. GCA contributed to high-level discussions to emphasize the centrality of adaptation and bring to the table concrete solutions to scale up and accelerate action in the lead-up to COP27.

W ith a track record of climate leadership, Gabon is a carbon-negative country with forest cover that extends over 85% of its land surface. The western central African country plans to integrate climate change considerations into all its development strategies, so what better location to host Africa Climate Week 2022 (ACW 2022), as the world prepares for the “African COP” in Sharm El-Sheikh?

GCA’s contribution to regional collaboration on adaptation at ACW 2022

GCA participated in the Ministerial Roundtables at ACW 2022 to emphasize the urgency of scaling up and accelerating solutions for adaptation, vis-à-vis the already manifesting impacts of the changing climate. GCA called for a shift in the perception of adaptation and resilience as global public goods to acknowledge them as smart investments, based on the findings of GCA’s State and Trends in Adaptation Report 2021 (STA21). STA21 reveals that early adaptation has high benefit-to-cost ratios. For example, investments in weather and climate information services in Africa have shown a benefit-to-cost ratio varying between 4 to 1, and 25 to 1, depending on the region.

In a dedicated session, GCA, the African Development Bank, and the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI) presented the operational activities and early results of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) with a focus on its ability to serve as a collaboration platform for crowding in partners and resources.

The AAAP operating model generated great interest at ACW 2022, as the boldest implementation vehicle for Africa’s adaptation vision. The messages put forward at ACW 2022 were further reiterated by African Heads of State, Global Leaders and Prof. Dr. Verkooijen, GCA CEO, at the Africa Adaptation Summit convened the following week by GCA at its headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on 5th September.

Adapt to thrive

Across all discussions at ACW 2022, it clearly emerged that the African continent is at a crossroads. The increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related events cause recurring disruptions, damage, and loss of lives and livelihoods. Current geopolitical circumstances further threaten Africa’s food and energy security, inflation is on the rise, and the continent’s progress in the last decades is constantly under threat. One answer to this crisis is adaptation.

Adaptation is not just an imperative; it is also a major opportunity because it holds transformative potential. Adaptation contributes to building resilience and learning to live with the effects of a rapidly changing climate. Click To Tweet

The money we invest in climate adaptation today will eventually reduce the cost of dealing with climate disasters tomorrow. This underpinned GCA’s engagement at ACW 2022 and shifted attention towards adaptation financing.

President of Gabon, H.E. Ali Bongo Ondimba at Africa Climate Week 2022.

Africa has the vision, the commitment and the tools to adapt.
These need to be matched with much-needed resources.

According to GCA’s report on Financial Innovation for Climate Adaptation in Africa, the Nationally Determined Contributions at the heart of the Paris Agreement show a need for $579 billion in financing by 2030 for adaptation in African countries. At COP21 in 2015 in Paris, African Heads of State launched the AAI to address the adaptation finance gap. This effort was led by President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon.

While COP26 represented a breakthrough moment for adaptation, with the pledge of doubling global climate adaptation finance by 2025, current adaptation finance flows are still insufficient to meet growing needs. Global finance is largely skewed towards mitigation, with only 7.2 percent directed to adaptation. African countries currently receive just about $6 billion annually for adaptation.

The NDCs at the heart of the Paris Agreement show a need for $579 billion in financing by 2030 for adaptation in African countries. African countries currently receive just about $6 billion annually for adaptation. Click To Tweet

In order to drive forward the actualization of the AAI, in 2021 GCA joined hands with the African Development Bank to initiate the AAAP. The program was quickly endorsed by African leaders and the African Union as Africa’s plan to address the climate crisis by delivering impact at scale and securing a prosperous future for its youth and people.

The AAAP serves as an Africa-led vehicle to mobilize $25 billion by 2025 for adaptation in the areas of food security, resilient infrastructure, climate finance, and youth employment. To date, by working upstream to support project design through its AAAP Upstream Financing Facility, GCA has contributed to mainstreaming adaptation solutions in over $3 billion investments in 19 African countries. As we advance towards COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, the hope is that these milestone achievements and political mobilization will contribute to a breakthrough for Africa and the world.
For more information on GCA’s Advocacy and Outreach work, please contact Ms. Francesca Rappocciolo, Partnerships and External Affairs Specialist, at

Related blog posts: