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Financing Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Africa: Key Issues and Options for Policy-Makers and Negotiators

Research reports

Written by Neil Bird

Africa's climatic vulnerability is coupled with a very low capacity to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. In its Fourth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasizes the likelihood that climate change and variability will negatively impact Africa's economic activities and exacerbate its current development challenges. With this warning in mind, various efforts are being made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, plan for immediate and future adaptation, and integrate climate change considerations into development programmes and strategies at national and regional levels.
Current estimates of financial resources needed to support African countries as they attempt to alleviate and adapt to climate change are still vague, but they all indicate that costs will be in the tens of billions of dollars per annum. It is increasingly clear that voluntary contributions by developed countries will not be enough to meet the needs of the developing world.
Because of this shortcoming, financing climate change has become one of the hottest topics in the international negotiations. In light of this, several proposals to generate new funds are being put forward within the context of the UNFCCC that could make a substantial contribution towards the resources needed to respond to this global crisis. This paper aims to provide African negotiators, policy makers and finance ministers with information on existing and proposed financial mechanisms, and offer an assessment of the proposed financing options, to help inform Africa‟s negotiating position.

Jessica Brown, Djimingue Nanasta and Neil Bird