African countries should increase budgetary allocation towards climate change adaptation in order to hasten green and inclusive growth while protecting vulnerable communities from shocks, a senior UN Environment Program (UNEP) said on Monday.
Richard Munang, Climate Change Coordinator, UNEP Africa Office said that bridging the adaptation financing gap in the continent will unleash economic benefits and strengthen the resilience of communities.
“Investing in adaptation is a sound economic decision and must become an added tool in every country’s economic arsenals,” Munang said in an opinion (Op-Ed) issued in Nairobi.
Munang said that UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report that was launched on Jan. 14 emphasized that Africa’s capacity to attain carbon neutrality lies in robust financing towards adaptation measures that prioritize a shift to clean energy and restoration of vital ecosystems.
According to the report, Africa requires 7 to 15 billion United States dollars annually to enhance adaptation to climate change besides nearly 3 trillion dollars investment that is required to implement nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and cap emissions in line with the Paris climate deal.
“The findings of this Adaptation Gap report send an unequivocal message of the urgent need to ratchet up adaptation actions which must align with accelerating socioeconomic growth to build resilience of populations in Africa,” said Munang.
He said that a fusion of public and private sector investments should be prioritized in order to bridge funding shortfalls towards climate change adaptation in Africa.
Munang said that African countries should roll out a range of fiscal and policy incentives to hasten green recovery while lowering carbon emissions.
He proposed investments in nature-based solutions to enhance adaptation adding that home-grown innovations like the adoption of solar dryers by farmers will reduce post-harvest losses, boost food security and climate resilience.
Munang said that governments should encourage micro-lenders to provide capital to youth-owned green start-ups to strengthen their participation in climate adaptation.
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