otterdam, the Netherlands, 3 September 2023 – New research from the Global Center on Adaptation released today shows that climate adaptation finance flows to Africa must increase up to tenfold to over US$100 billion per year by 2035 to build resilience against the growing impacts of climate change. Without such investment, it is estimated that the continent could lose out on as much as $6 trillion of economic benefits by 2035 as every $1 invested in adaptation has been shown to generate a return between $2 and $10.
Africa’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) currently estimate the continent requires $52.7 billion a year for adaptation (or 2.5% of its GDP) but this new research reveals this is a vast underestimate as only half of the NDCs (28) calculate costs for adaptation. The NDCs were also prepared at a time when climate impacts were not projected to occur as quickly or as strongly as they are. Of the NDCs that do include adaptation costs, over half (70%) do not allocate the necessary adaptation funding to any specific sector.
Africa only received $11.4 billion in adaptation finance in 2019-2020 and the increase in 2021-2022 is likely to be modest. At this rate, Africa will receive $182 billion by 2035 for climate adaptation, less than one-tenth of the up to $1.7 trillion by 2035 the new research estimates it needs. Loans were the most utilized instrument to deliver adaptation finance in 2019-2020, which combined with surging interest rates, is contributing to Africa’s poorest countries falling into a debt trap.
Commenting on the research findings, Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation said:
“The impacts of climate change are being felt around the world, but nowhere more acutely than in Africa. Adaptation finance must be scaled up dramatically before it is outstripped by accelerating climate impacts which would further widen the adaptation funding gap. The actions we take now to increase adaptation finance flows to Africa are critical to the continent’s capacity to respond to climate impacts and transform climate adaptation into a growth agenda for the continent.”
Ten African countries (Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Ghana) currently receive over half of the continent’s adaptation finance whilst the ten most climate-vulnerable countries (Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Chad, Senegal) only receive 18% of Africa’s adaptation finance.
Notes to Editors
About the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA)
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that works as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sectors. Founded in 2018, GCA operates from its headquarters in the largest floating office in the world, located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. GCA has a worldwide network of regional offices in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Beijing, China.