AfDB, others commit to boost collaboration on climate and development

Multilateral development banks

By Clara Nwachukwu

Multilateral development banks (MDBs) attending the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28), yesterday, affirmed their commitment to a concerted, global action, including increasing co-financing and private sector engagement to address climate change, felt acutely in Africa.

In a joint statement released in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the banks committed to collaborating on “socially inclusive, gender-responsive and nature positive climate and development actions,” leveraging their unique expertise and networks.

Signatories to the statement include the African Development Bank Group, European Investment Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Council of Europe Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank Group, Islamic Development Bank, New Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.

Despite contributing the least to global warming and having the lowest emissions, Africa faces existential risks due to the catastrophic impact of climate change.

Perennial droughts in the Horn of Africa and recent devastating floods in Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other parts of the continent have claimed thousands of lives, destroyed infrastructure, washed away hundreds of hectares of food crops and threatened to push millions of people into extreme poverty.

The banks committed to collaborating on “socially inclusive, gender-responsive and nature positive climate and development actions,” leveraging their unique expertise and networks.

For impact, the MDBs will collaborate to attract private capital at scale for countries, expand the scope of reporting climate results and impact, and help countries identify priorities and investment opportunities.

They also committed to support countries’ adaptation and disaster risk management efforts through the MDBs’ Early Warning for All initiative, which promotes accessible and inclusive early warning systems for all by 2027.

The MDBs will also launch a Long-term Strategies Program to help countries and subnational entities to formulate long-term, low-emission development strategies and other long-term climate strategies.

The banks also expressed support for various sectors including water, health and gender, committing to identify and expand financing for gender-responsive solutions for governments and businesses.

According to a joint MDB report launched in October, climate finance by Multilateral Development Banks for low-income and middle-income economies reached a new record of $60.7 billion in 2022, up 46 percent compared to 2019.

About $38.0 billion, or 63% of the amount went into climate change mitigation finance, and $22.7 billion or 37%, supported climate change adaptation. Private finance stood at $16.9 billion.

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