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Zim requires over US$5bn to tackle climate change

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Zimbabwe requires over US$5 bilion to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, a new report by the African Development Bank (AfDB) shows, calling for international support to bail out the southern African country.

It is estimated that Africa is losing about US$15bn annually due to climate change with the loss projected to peak to US$40bn per year by 2040.

In an Africa Economic Outlook 2022 report released yesterday, the AfDB said Zimbabwe required “domestic and international support to push through with mitigation and adaptation measures”. 

The report is the flagship publication by the AfDB. 

“… mitigation measures alone will cost an estimated US$4.83bn,” AfDB said. 

It said finance channelled through the National Climate Change Fund and Climate Finance Facility (under development) should “crowd in the private sector through blended finance and results-based approaches for de-risking markets, scaling up impact investments, and increasing participation in climate actions”. 

Climate change, the bank group said, has increased the frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, storms, and heat waves. 

It is estimated that Cyclone Idai, which hit Zimbabwe in 2019 caused direct damage of an estimated US$622m to infrastructure, properties, crops and livestock.

The cyclone also affected some parts of Mozambique and Malawi. 

AfDB said the government has prioritised  mainstreaming climate change and related financing in national programmes through the National Development Strategy 1.

It is also strengthening early-warning systems; promoting climate-smart innovation and technology transfer and strengthening capacity building and awareness on climate change adaptation and mitigation, AfDB said.

It said Zimbabwe is on course to meeting the sustainable development goal on climate change which calls for the taking of “urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”. 

Despite Africa accounting just 4% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, it is short-changed by climate finance, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said on Monday, adding that Africa’s financing needs to address climate change ranges between US$1.3 trillion to US$1.6 trillion between 2020 and 2030.

He, however, said Africa was not getting enough resources to tackle climate change. 

“Africa gets only 3% of total global climate finance. Climate financing mobilised globally falls short of Africa’s needs by US$100bn to US$127bn per year between 2020-2030,” Adesina said.

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