AfDB awaits bankable projects on Nigeria’s energy transition roadmap
•Outlines plans for tackling climate, commits to $25b fresh funding
•2022 meeting focuses on climate change, energy transition
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group says it looks forward to supporting Nigeria to achieve its energy transition programme but that it can only act when it sees clearly-conceptualised bankable projects.
AfDB’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Dr. Kevin Kariuki, disclosed this during a virtual press conference to outline preparation for the bank’s 2020 annual meetings held in Accra, Ghana, in the fourth week of May.
Kariuki told the media that AfDB is committed to supporting Nigeria and other African countries that have developed energy transition roadmaps to serve as a catalyst for growth, job creation and sustainable development. He, however, said the board and management could only take action when there are “foundation documents to interrogate the transition plan”.
Charging African governments to act decisively and responsibly, he said climate change is here to stay “whether we believe it or not”, adding that fossil fuel has huge externality costs. This, he said, should send a strong signal to African leaders and guide them in project development and implementation.
Kariuki disclosed that the bank would, in the next five years, increase its climate change funding mobilisation for Africa to $25 billion. The bank had, in the last five years, committed $13 billion to climate change adaptation and mitigation programmes.
With increasing pressure on the bank and other development organisations, the VP said AfDB would be giving more attention to adaptation, with 50 per cent of the funding plan expected to go into this area.
”This means that we are in the total resonance of what people of Africa are complaining about. The key thing is to help countries adapt to the impact of climate change. The commitment to double our climate change finance to 25 billion dollars is important,” he noted.
While AfDB is not resting on its oars, the Secretary-General of the Group, Prof. Vincent Nmehielle, said the organisation could only intervene where there are bankable and viable projects and that it would develop projects for individual countries.
Nmehielle said the Accra meeting themed ‘Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa’ offers a rare opportunity for governments to show their energy transition roadmap and other programmes they line up to adapt to climate change. He noted that the meeting would help African governments “to re-engineer” the economies and act fast.
The Acting Chief Economist/Vice-President for the Economic Governance and Knowledge Management Complex, Prof. Kelvin Urama, corroborated Nmehielle’s position, saying funding naturally “flows to where there are bankable projects.”
He stressed that the principle drives AfDB’s intervention across Africa.
Urama described climate change as a game-changer with dire consequences for energy ultilisation, economic growth and labour market. He said it was important to shift conversations to how Africa is responding to climate change as well as what it is doing to achieve “just energy transition” and net zero-emission.
Coinciding with the bank’s 50th-anniversary celebration, the five-day hybrid event will provide an opportunity for the board to receive last year’s reports, review them and adopt resolutions while brainstorming on short- to medium-term plans.
Nmehielle said Africa’s climate report would also be unveiled during the meeting, which would feature closed and knowledge events.