A European Investment Bank (EIB) Climate Survey has shown that 88% of African respondents believe that climate change is already affecting their everyday life.
The fourth EIB Climate research conducted between 2021 and published December 20, 2022 shows that 61% Africans believe that climate change and environmental damage have affected their income or source of livelihood; and 76% say renewable energy should be prioritised.
Apparently, these losses are typically due to severe drought, rising sea levels or coastal erosion, or extreme weather events such as floods or hurricanes- the research stated.
These findings are particularly relevant at a time when climate and a green recovery are top priorities raised by African countries during the just concluded 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.
Africa is the part of the world most affected by climate change, although it contributes least to the problem (least emitter of greenhouse gases.
Expert reports say the continent faces an increased threat from extreme weather events and chronic climate change, which influence agricultural yields, food and water security, ecosystems, livelihoods, health, infrastructure and migration.
By damaging vital resources and increasing competition for natural resources, climate change is likely to increase poverty, inequality and unemployment.
At COP27 Africans opted to deal with the climate crisis by going for the mobilization of resources for the mitigation of global warming and the adaptation to its effects were at the heart of the debates with the decisive agreement reached on a new “loss and damage” fund for vulnerable countries hard hit by climatic disasters.
The results of the EIB 2022 Climate Survey also show that developing renewable energy is seen as an important priority by most of the respondents.
Ambroise Fayolle, vice-president of the EIB said they have been supporting clean energy investments in Africa (since 1965 and invested €59 billion in 52 African countries) in areas such as wind power, hydropower and off-grid solutions, for many years and they are committed to chip with financial instruments.
The research also shows that more than half of African respondents (57%) say they or people they know have already taken some form of action to adapt to the impact of climate change.
Some of these initiatives, among many, include investments in climate resilience, green energy, water-saving technologies to reduce the impact of drought and drain clearing in advance of flooding.
In Rwanda, for example, the country has an ambitious plan to reduce emissions by 38% by 2030 compared to business as usual and is working with national and international partners to attract the sustainable green investments needed to achieve this goal.
Through the $104 million green investment facility called “Ireme Invest” launched at COP27, which will provide financing for the implementation of green and resilient projects, Rwanda aims to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The fund will target projects in key sectors, including renewable energy deployment (solar and hydro), improving energy efficiency in industrial processes, introducing vehicle emission standards, deploying electric vehicles and promoting the use of biogas on farms.