The African Development Bank (AfDB) had several productive engagements around its strategic priorities at the just concluded 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York.
The meeting called for increased financing to mitigate the effect of climate change and food insecurity.
AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina led the bank’s delegation to the meeting and played an active part in discussions leading to an international declaration to end malnutrition and stunting.
The bank’s engagements reflect its strategic priorities as African countries, which it supports, struggle with the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as food and fuel price spikes arising from Russians’ war in Ukraine, and climate change.
Climate change was a recurring theme in many of the bank’s UNGA discussions, especially the need for urgent financing for countries most at risk from climate change.
Climate change has assumed greater urgency with the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) due to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in less than two months. COP27 or “the African COP,” as it is being called, presents an unprecedented opportunity for a unified African voice to demand that the global community move beyond talk to concrete action on financing for climate adaptation and mitigation.
Speaking at the 2nd ministerial meeting on climate and development, Adesina joined US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and other participants in urging developed countries to deliver on the pledges they made at COP26 in Glasgow last year, and under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
John Kerry’s words were unambiguous: “We are late. We must act. I’m fed up with saying the same thing too many times in the same meetings. Business as usual is the collective enemy. It’s time for action,” he hold the meeting.
Adesina echoed this call for urgent action. He warned: “Africa is suffering, Africa is choking, and is in serious financial distress for what it did not cause. There must be a greater sense of urgency, not in talking, but in doing and delivering resources that the continent needs very desperately.” Break down barriers to just energy transitions in developing countries.
While developing countries are currently responsible for only 25 percent of global CO2 emissions, this share could grow to 75 percent by 2050, according to the analysis published by the Alliance.
Developing countries currently receive only a fraction of financing to develop clean energy, despite representing nearly half of the world’s population.
The General Assembly allowed the African Development Bank Group to demonstrate particular leadership in efforts to end hunger, nutrition, and stunting across Africa.
Under the Presidential Dialogue Group on Nutrition, inspired by the African Union’s designation of 2022 as the “Year of Nutrition,” the African Development Bank Group head joined African Presidents to sign a land-mark commitment to stop childhood stunting.
According to global Nutrition Report-considered, the most comprehensive accounting of the state of nutrion worldwide-more than 30 percent of children in Africa are stunted.
The Dialogue Group is an initiative of the African Development Bank’s African Leaders for Nutrition platform, the Ethiopian Government, and Big win, a philanthropic organization.
In addition to Ethiopia, the platform counts the leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda among its members.
Speaking at the session, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Government across the world to quickly invest in quality job creation and the provision of social protection for those without coverage.
He told leaders to focus on concrete solutions to implement the initiative and warned, “The path of inaction leads to economic collapse and climate catastrophe, widening inequalities and escalating social unrest. This could leave billions trapped in vicious circles of poverty and destruction.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated the African Development Bank for birthing the Africa Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation which he said: “could help in market shaping for pharmaceutical products.”
UNGA 77 brought together world leaders, civil society activists, private sector players, and young people from around the world for two weeks of in-person dialogue in New York City under the theme ‘A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges.
However, according to the United Nations Convention, each country is required to show a strategy of how to fight climate change by reducing the production of greenhouse gases.
An effect occurring in the atmosphere because of the presence of certain gases (greenhouse gases) that absorb infrared radiation. Light and ultraviolet radiation from the sun are able to penetrate the atmosphere and warm the earth’s surface. This energy is re-radiated as infrared radiation, which, because of its longer wavelength, is absorbed by such substances as carbon dioxide. Emissions of carbon dioxide from human activity have increased markedly in the last 150 years or so. The overall effect is that the average temperature of the earth and its atmosphere is increasing (so-called global warming). The effect is similar to that occurring in a greenhouse, where light and long-wave-length ultraviolet radiation can pass through the glass, and part of it is re-radiated into the greenhouse.
The greenhouse effect is seen as a major environmental hazard. Average increases in temperature are likely to change weather patterns and agricultural output. It is already causing the polar ice caps to melt, with a corresponding rise in sea level. Carbon dioxide, from fossil-fuel power stations and car exhausts, is the main greenhouse gas. Other contributory pollutants are nitrogen oxides, ozone, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons.
Tanzania is a member of the United Nations Framework Change (UNFCCC) and is one of the countries that submitted its to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change July 30,2021.