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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

World Bank sets out plan to bolster Africa against climate change

By Megan Rowling, BRACED
BARCELONA - The World Bank aims to drive more funding into efforts to help African countries withstand climate change impacts and boost their clean energy production through a $16 billion plan revealed on Tuesday.
The "Africa Climate Business Plan" lays out investments to make the continent's people, land, water and cities more resilient to droughts, floods, storms and rising seas, increase access to green energy, and strengthen early warning systems.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said sub-Saharan Africa is "highly vulnerable to climate shocks", which could have deep effects on everything from child stunting to malaria and food price increases.
"This plan identifies concrete steps that African governments can take to ensure that their countries will not lose hard-won gains in economic growth and poverty reduction, and they can offer some protection from climate change," he added in a statement.
The plan outlines measures for "fast-tracking" adaptation to climate change, costing almost $10.7 billion from 2016 to 2020.
Effect of floods in Banawa District, Kaduna, Nigeria.REUTERS/Stringer
They include helping some 10 million farmers adopt resource-efficient techniques and hardier crop varieties, improving water management in the Niger, Lake Chad and Zambezi basins, reducing coastal erosion, strengthening flood protection, and restoring degraded land and forests.
The African region requires $5 billion to $10 billion per year to prepare for global warming of 2 degrees Celsius, the plan said, an amount that could rise to $20 billion to $50 billion by mid-century.
But experts say pledges from some 170 countries to curb their planet-warming emissions would still permit global average temperatures to increase between 2.7 and 3.7 degrees from pre-industrial times, suggesting adaptation costs will be higher.
Levels of funding for adaptation in Africa today amount to an annual $3 billion at most, "which is negligible considering the needs", the World Bank plan said.
PARIS PRIORITY
Ahead of U.N. climate talks in Paris from Monday, tasked with agreeing a new global deal to curb global warming, the bank said its plan's emphasis on climate adaptation fitted priorities expressed by African states in their national action plans submitted as a basis for the deal.
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