An Adaptation Delivery Breakthrough for Africa at COP27

Africa Adaptation Summit: Friends of GCA High-Level Dialogue for COP27 Communique

S uccess at COP27 will depend on whether the needs of Africa, the world’s most climate-vulnerable continent, are met. Finance for climate adaptation action is Africa’s top priority. Progress and transparency on the COP26 agreement to doubling international finance for adaptation by 2025 through delivery into the country programs of the most vulnerable will therefore be central to the success of COP27. Africa has a bold Africa-led, Africa-owned adaptation plan, the African Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). Ensuring the full capitalization of the ADF climate action window for the AAAP and the $250 million AAAP Upstream Facility by COP27 will thereby serve as a landmark contribution towards the success of the forthcoming “African COP.” Delivery on these elements would double down on adaptation at COP27, setting the bar for success for Africa at Sharm El-Sheikh.

African leaders including the African Union and Climate Vulnerable Forum presidencies, and the leadership of the African Development Bank, gathered at Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) headquarters in Rotterdam for the Africa Adaptation Summit in a Friends of GCA High-level Dialogue for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh together with global leaders from across governments, international organizations, multilateral development banks, central banks, the private sector, mayors, civil society, youth leaders, and other stakeholders. The main outcome of the Summit’s deliberations was to outline a 5-point “Adaptation Breakthrough for Africa at COP27”, and the key determinants of success for Africa at COP27, as follows:

1. Africa at a Tipping Point

The international community needs to reckon with the multiple economic, climate and health crises that are pressuring Africa. Africa’s recovery from the economic and health shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic that drove over 25 million people into poverty is still incomplete. The continent which imports over 80% of its food now suffers most from the fallout from the Ukraine conflict’s global food supply and price shock. This is driving food insecurity and humanitarian developments across Africa since food expenses represent 75% of the income of Africa’s poorest groups when more than a fifth of all Africans are already food insecure. Many African nations lack fiscal space to respond effectively, with the share of low-income countries in or at high risk of debt distress at 60%, up from about 20% one decade ago.

2. Most Vulnerable Continent

According to the most recent assessment report of the IPCC (2021-2022 AR6), Africa is the most vulnerable continent to the consequences of the climate crisis. African nations not only contribute least to the causes of climate change, generating less than 3% of all greenhouse gas emissions, but rapidly increasing climate shocks will hit hardest in Africa. The global average of 1.5ºC and a doubling in extreme heat spells expected in the coming decade will be locally experienced as 3ºC of warming across large parts of Africa. As the frontline of the global climate emergency, adaptation presents an unprecedented opportunity for COP27 to secure unstoppable progress in Africa, leveraging the powerful synergies between adaptation and jobs, supply chains and development. Adaptation is also the most effective pathway to minimize climate-related loss and damage.

3. Adaptation Finance Doubling Implementation

The most significant development for adaptation at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) was the new commitment to bring international finance for adaptation onto an even footing with mitigation. Delivery on the COP26 agreement for developed nations to double adaptation finance by 2025 is not only pivotal to unlocking the full potential of adaptation action in Africa and around the world. It is also a crucial factor in the restoration of confidence in international cooperation to tackle climate breakdown amid accelerating warming and climate impacts and their deepening of global injustices. A standalone and transparent implementation plan showing progress towards the 2025 doubling target, and especially demonstrating funds flowing to country-led programs particularly into Africa’s AAAP, would provide a powerful outcome to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh.

4. Capitalizing Africa’s Adaptation Program (AAAP)

The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) launched last year was reaffirmed by African leaders and the leadership of the African Union and African Development Bank as the continent’s flagship adaptation endeavor and the implementation vehicle of the Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI). Africa has a $41 billion annual adaptation finance gap and no other program matches the AAAP’s $25 billion ambition, which is already delivering action on the ground at scale towards catalyzing a resilient transformation in Africa. While half the financial volume of the AAAP has already been capitalized, COP27 is the opportunity for the international community to show solidarity with the bold adaptation efforts of the world’s most vulnerable continent by closing in on the outstanding resourcing need for the African Development Fund (ADF) climate action window.

5. Delivering the AAAP Upstream Financing Facility

African leaders and partners further underscored the criticality of capitalizing the $250 million resourcing need of the AAAP’s Upstream Financing Facility, managed by the GCA, which is the transmission belt to mainstream adaptation in large-scale projects of development finance institutions and private investments active within Africa. The AAAP Upstream Facility’s already proven track record of guiding over $3 billion in investments in 19 countries since 2021 has also demonstrated a 1:100 leverage ratio. Making available the Upstream Facility’s full resourcing needs by COP27 positions the AAAP to drive its full ambition into adaptation projects on the ground across Africa, a headline deliverable for the “African COP.”

Related posts: