The United Kingdom has announced a significant increase in its financial support to the poorest African countries that bear the brunt of climate change.
Speaking alongside African leaders at COP27 in the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly confirmed the UK will provide £200 million to the African Development Bank Group’s Climate Action Window, a new mechanism set up to channel climate finance to help vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.
A number of countries on the continent have experienced extreme weather conditions from severe drought in Somalia to floods in South Sudan.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “Climate change is having a devastating impact on some of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa but historically they have received a tiny proportion of climate finance,” said Cleverly adding, “This new mechanism from the African Development Bank will see vital funds delivered to those most affected by the impacts of climate change, much more quickly.”
The UK Foreign Secretary noted, “Access to climate finance for emerging economies was a central focus at COP26 in Glasgow and I’m pleased to see tangible progress being made, supported today by £200 million of UK funding.”
Climate change has a disproportionate impact on the 37 poorest and least creditworthy countries in Africa. Nine out of ten most vulnerable countries to climate change are in Africa.
The Glasgow Climate Pact included a commitment from donors to double adaptation finance between 2019 and 2025.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced at the weekend that the UK will surpass that target and triple adaptation funding from £500 million in 2019 to £1.5 billion by 2025. This funding package provided to the African Development Bank will be 100% earmarked for adaptation.
The Prime Minister also confirmed yesterday that the UK is delivering on the target of spending £11.6 bn on International Climate Finance (ICF) between 2021/22 and 2025/26.
The President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina welcomed the additional funding from the United Kingdom and said,
“I applaud the UK government for this major contribution towards the capitalization of the Climate Action Window of the African Development Fund, as it seeks to raise more financing to support vulnerable low-income African countries that are most affected by climate change. This bold move and support of the UK will strengthen our collective efforts to build climate resilience for African countries. With increasing frequencies of droughts, floods and cyclones that are devastating economies, the UK support for climate adaptation is timely, needed, and inspiring in closing the climate adaptation financing gap for Africa.”
“I came to COP 27 in Egypt with challenges of climate adaptation for Africa topmost on my mind. The support of the UK has given hope. I encourage others to follow this leadership on climate adaptation shown by the UK”, said Adesina.