UNEP, AMCEN Detail Adaptation Costs in Africa

UNEP - AMCEN5 November 2013: Ahead of the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 19), the UN Environment Programme Regional Office for Africa (UNEP ROA), together with the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), and Climate Analytics, have released the ‘Africa Adaptation Technical Report: Climate-change impacts, adaptation challenges and costs for Africa.'

The report details adaptation costs under three scenarios: for the continent for past emissions; if the emissions gap is closed; and if warming increases above 2°C.

According to the 58-page report, annual adaptation costs due to past emissions are estimated at US$7-15 billion by 2020. Under a scenario where warming is kept below 2°C by 2050, annual adaptation costs are estimated at US$35 billion per year. Under the scenario where present emissions policies remain unchanged and the world experiences warming to 3.5-4°C by 2100, the adaptation cost could reach US$50 billion per year by 2050.

The report's key messages include: Africa faces a significant challenge in adapting to climate change with costs and damages rising rapidly with warming; how well the continent deals with these climate impacts, now and in the future, will be co-determined by the funding it receives; with the present emission trends and policies projected to lead to warming of 3.5-4°C by 2100 funding for adaptation in Africa would need to be scaled up by as much as 10% each year from 2020 onwards; to increase confidence in meeting adaptation needs in Africa, rapid and verifiable scaling up of adaptation funding is urgent; unless the emissions gap is closed, and warming limited below 2°C, rapidly rising damages, even after full adaptation, and threats to development prospects are likely.

The report underscores that measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) financial support to Africa is key. It notes that access to accurate and reliable data on support for adaptation and mitigation in developing countries is particularly complex, and currently there is no comprehensive database reporting finance flows from donor countries or agencies through multilateral and bilateral channels. It underscores that transparency is a prerequisite to understanding if pledged funding is adequate to bridge the adaptation gaps in Africa. [Publication: Africa Adaptation Gap Technical Report] [UNEP ROA Website]