Thursday, February 11, 2010

Climate response key to Africa’s growth

An opinion piece by Dr Anthony Nyong in Business Daily (Kenya): Climate change has become the most pressing global threat at the moment. It will impose an additional burden on sustainable development in Africa, even as the continent contributes very little to the total global greenhouse gas emissions. The modest gains that the continent has achieved in the past decade could be reversed by climate change.

While both mitigation and adaptation are important in the long run, we have watched how less attention is being paid to adaptation in the international agenda. Adaptation in the present is fundamental to the achievement of poverty reduction and sustainable development, which are indeed needed in order to strengthen the continent’s ability and disposition towards charting a low carbon development pathway.

We should not miss the opportunity to do this now, while Africa remains a low carbon emitter. The African Development Bank (ADB) is addressing both climate change adaptation and mitigation in the continent using a mainstreaming approach.

The Bank’s mainstreaming efforts have involved internal re-organisation to reposition the Bank for improved performance. This has included the creation of the Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Unit that is tasked with coordinating the mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues Bank-wide and within RMCs.

Africa requires a coordinated and informed approach to chart a low-carbon development pathway and is therefore developing a ‘Green Growth Strategy’ for the continent. This strategy will guide operations in ensuring environmental sustainability, making it a Green Bank while supporting regional member countries to grow a green economy. All ongoing projects have been screened for climate risk and all at-risk projects are being ‘climate-proofed’ by building additional climate change components to them….

A market in Madagascar, shot by Ino Paap, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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