African heads of state and top figures from global organisations met in Rotterdam on Monday to address climate change financing in Africa.
Rich countries said they will spend about $25 billion by 2025 to boost Africa's efforts to adapt to climate change as the continent continues to struggle with drought, cyclones and extreme heat, according to officials.
The amount promised by the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program - a joint initiative between various nations and organizations - is billed as the largest ever adaptation effort globally.
Half of the amount is pledged by the African Development Bank with representatives from Denmark, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, the International Monetary Fund and others also offering their support for the initiative.
The continent emits just 3% to 4% of emissions despite being home to nearly 17% of the world’s population but experts say it is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it less able to adapt.
African nations hope to use the funds to improve their resilience to extreme weather events, such as droughts or floods, increase tree cover and protect biodiversity, as well as expand their renewable energy capacity.
Many speakers at the event felt the upcoming COP27 was a perfect place for the issues to be nailed down.
"I think it is entirely possible for the key players to come together behind this for COP27," said Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation Ban Ki-moon.
"We must double down on climate finance adaptation for Africa at COP27. Double down, it was promised in Glasgow. It has to be delivered two months from now," added CEO for Global Center on Adaptation Patrick Verkooijen.
The summit comes just weeks after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that rich countries had failed to deliver on their 2009 promise to spend $100 billion a year to aid developing countries to adapt to a warming climate.
The organization said $83.3 billion was given to poorer nations in 2020, the highest ever sum, but still short of the original amount.
If the funds promised at the Rotterdam summit are delivered, the decades-old goal will finally be achieved but African nations warn this will not be enough.
Africa will need between $1.3 and $1.6 trillion this decade to implement its commitments to the Paris climate agreement, an annual cost between $140 and $300 billion, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, told the summit.
He added that the costs of adapting to climate change are expected to increase by 2050, as the effects of global warming get more severe.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo Addo said his country will push for the funds allocated to adapting to a warmer climate to be doubled at the forthcoming United Nations summit in Egypt in November.
After decades of developed countries falling short on their funding promises, many African nations remain skeptical that the funds will ever reach the continent.
The U.N. Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt, Mahmoud Mohieldin, said the existing global climate financing structure is “insufficient and ineffective,”, especially for Africa.