EU announces €1 billion for climate adaptation in Africa targeting floods, droughts and other shocks


The European Union has announced €1 billion in support of climate adaptation in Africa.

This is according to a statement by Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission. During his speech at COP 27 on November 16, he stressed that the event is an African COP and an adaptation COP. Timmermans said:

  • “Africa has contributed less to where we are today. However, many of the countries on this continent are among the most vulnerable to climate change and are suffering more than many other places. Therefore, we must step up our game for adaptation in Africa.
  • “That is why I am happy to announce at this event that, together, the European Union and four member states, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, will contribute more than one billion euros to support adaptation in Africa. This one billion euro initiative is a starting point. Other member states can join and we also encourage development banks to join.”

In a Washington Post of November 9 opinion piece, President Muhammadu Buhari wrote that Africa urgently needs investment in adaptation infrastructure, such as flood prevention systems, to prevent disasters that destroy communities and cripple economies.

In his speech, Timmermans identified four things the €1 billion initiative will do:

  • Collection and analysis of climate risk data
  • Reinforcement of early warning systems, both at the regional and national levels.
  • The development of multinational and single-country proposals to mobilize international climate finance, including from the private sector. This is to achieve the trillions needed for climate adaptation in Africa.
  • Strengthening financing and insurance mechanisms for climate and disaster risks to protect vulnerable populations against climate threats.

Loss and damage: Addressing the audience, Timmermans also spoke about support for loss and damage, which is one of the frontier points of discussion at COP 27. He said that the European Union will also give €60 million to address loss and damage in Africa. . Timmermans added:

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  • “The EU will not stop there. The climate finance target for our main global budget program has been raised to 35%. And we intend to raise more investment for clean, safe, and climate-resilient infrastructure. That includes the Great Green Wall, the EU African Union transboundary water management initiative and strategic corridors, to name a few.”

Why this matters: In his speech, Frans Timmermans highlighted the fact that Africa has seen huge impacts from climate change, despite not being responsible for the current level of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. He said:

  • “Every day we are reminded of the grave impacts of the climate crisis. You know that Africa has seen incredible droughts and incredible floods. East Africa is now suffering from a terrible drought. You have had plagues of locusts; it has had coastal degradation at levels that are unbelievable. You see desertification causing levels of migration that are causing tensions in other countries. I mean, it’s clear that this is a challenge that Africa cannot face alone.”

The Nigerian Context: In 2022, Nigeria experienced flooding in 34 states. These floods have affected homes, businesses, farmland (569,000 hectares damaged), as well as oil and gas facilities (in oil and gas producing states). 3.2 million people have been affected by the flooding and more than 1.4 million people have been displaced with more than 600 deaths in every state. This is according to statistics from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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Climate adaptation refers to actions that reduce the negative impact of climate change while taking advantage of potential new opportunities. It involves adjusting policies and actions due to observed or expected changes in climate.


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