Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Accelerating climate-resilient and low-carbon development in sub-Saharan Africa


Accelerating climate-resilient and low-carbon development in sub-Saharan Africa

Accelerating climate-resilient and low-carbon development in sub-Saharan Africa
Photo credit: EC | ECHO | Daniel Dickinson

Second Progress Report on the Implementation of the Africa Climate Business Plan

This report provides an overview of the progress made in 2017 in implementing the Africa Climate Business Plan (ACBP), a blueprint for climate action in Sub-Saharan Africa that the World Bank launched during the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in November 2015.

Since the launch of the ACBP at COP21 in November 2015, significant progress has been made:

  • The World Bank has worked with client countries, development partners, and the private sector to flesh out the ACBP’s program of work.

  • As of June 30, 2017, the number of projects contributing to the ACBP reached 204, a net increase of 57 over 2016.

  • The World Bank’s Board had approved $8.8 billion for 107 projects by June 30, 2017.

  • The implementation of projects started generating concrete results and outcomes.

This report provides an update on resource mobilization, describes the climate co-benefits provided by the ACBP portfolio, and details implementation progress by ACBP cluster and component. In addition, to better measure and monitor results and inform future project design, it reports on two new pieces of analysis undertaken this year: a review of the ACBP contribution to implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of Sub-Saharan Africa’s countries; and a review of the ACBP portfolio from the perspective of its contribution to resilience building (following the resilience pathways approach).

Context and scope of this update

The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016. As of October 31, 2017, 169 parties had ratified it, marking the first time governments agreed to an overarching framework to combat climate change. Countries and observers around the world hailed the passage of the accord – the fruit of more than two decades of often tortuous international negotiations on combating climate change.

Forty-eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa communicated their post-2020 climate commitments and priority areas through their (I)NDCs, demonstrating their resolve to address climate change. Their commitment is critical, because resilience to climate variability and change is vital to the region’s ability to reduce poverty and protect the hard-earned development progress made in recent decades.

Indeed, climate drivers are involved in most of the shocks that keep or push African households into poverty. The funding needed to address climate change, particularly adaptation, in the region is massive, and it will increase as climate change unfolds in the coming years. According to the World Bank Group Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), more than 60 percent of countries in Africa have estimated and reported adaptation financing – more than twice the share in other regions – suggesting national policy makers’ recognition of the urgency of adaptation action.

The ACBP aims to build a pipeline of innovative and transformational projects to tackle climate change across sectors and establish a platform to mobilize investments, thereby contributing to filling the climate financing gap in the region. Including the transport component, which was added after the Paris launch, the plan’s goal is to raise $19.3 billion by 2020, for investments that will strengthen, power, and enable resilience in the region.

The plan focuses on more than a dozen priority areas, clustered in three groups. The first cluster (strengthening resilience) includes selected initiatives aimed at boosting the resilience of the region’s assets, including its natural capital (agricultural land, landscapes, forests, inland bodies of water, and oceans); physical capital (cities, physical assets in coastal areas, and roads); and human and social capital. The second cluster (powering resilience) relates to opportunities for scaling up low-carbon energy sources in Sub-Saharan Africa, thereby contributing to increasing access to energy (a key ingredient for resilience) and mitigating climate change. The third cluster (enabling resilience) provides data, information, and decision-making tools for promoting climate-resilient development across sectors, by strengthening the region’s hydro-meteorological systems at the regional and country levels and building the capacity to plan and design climate-resilient investments.

Fundraising targets of the ACBP

The ACBP is expected to mobilize $19.25 billion by 2020, including $8.48 billion in World Bank funding. According to the results framework included in the original plan, one indicator of the plan’s financial performance is the share of resources mobilized at various stages of implementation. The targets are for 25 percent of funding to be mobilized by June 2017 (end of the IDA17 cycle), 50 percent by December 2018 (mid-term of the IDA18 cycle), and 75 percent by June 2020 (end of IDA18). Applied to the World Bank’s share of the financing plan, these shares yield targets of $2.11, $4.22, and $6.33 billion, respectively.

ACBP contribution to NDC implementation

As of October 30, 2017, 169 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change had ratified the Paris Agreement, thereby formalizing their commitment to pursue the goal of the agreement through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In Sub-Sharan Africa, 48 countries have communicated their post-2020 climate commitments and priority areas through (I)NDCs. As one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change impacts, Sub-Saharan Africa has shown remarkable ambition in setting up its NDC commitments, particularly in adaptation.

To assess the extent to which the ACBP provides support to NDC implementation and to identify opportunities for further assistance, this progress report reviewed the development objective and components of every ACBP project; assessed whether they align with one or more NDC sectoral and sub-sectoral commitment (policies, targets, plans, actions) at the country and regional level; and determined whether the project directly contributes to NDC implementation. The analysis covers all 38 countries in which ACBP projects are being implemented. It does not include Botswana, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritius, Namibia, Somalia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe, where no ACBP projects have yet been launched.

In any given country, ACBP projects are considered to contribute to NDCs if their development objectives correspond to priority areas identified in that country’s NDCs. As of October 2017, 163 of 204 ACBP projects (80 percent) met this criterion. Commitments for these projects totaled $18.3 billion – 83 percent of the Bank’s total financial commitment under the ACBP. The number of projects that contributed to NDC implementation rose from 101 in October 2016 to 163 in October 2017, an increase of 63 percent. Financing of these projects more than doubled, from $9.1 billion to $18.3 billion.

The ACBP project makes contributions to NDCs in the following sectors: agriculture; cross-cutting areas (capacity building and knowledge transfer, disaster risk management, and climate services); energy; the environment; land use; land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); social development; transport; urban; and water. It shows that the ACBP portfolio contributes to a significant percentage of Sub-Sahara African countries’ NDC implementation efforts in the following sectors: transport agriculture, cross-cutting areas, energy, social development, LULUCF, and the environment.

The ACBP portfolio supports NDC commitments in the transport sector in 90 percent of countries. It supports NDC commitments in agriculture in more than 80 percent of countries. It contributes to NDC sectoral commitments in cross-cutting areas and energy in more than half of the countries in which it has projects (57 percent in cross-cutting areas, 53 percent in energy).

At the subsector level, the ACBP portfolio makes important contributions to NDC implementation and targets related to development of infrastructure and roads (ACBP presence in 20 countries, i.e. 91 percent of all countries identifying the subsector as an NCD priority), climate-smart agriculture practices (22 countries or 85 percent of all countries), establishment of social safety nets (9 countries or 75 percent of the total), enhanced capacity building and knowledge transfer (16 countries or 73 percent), sustainable land management practices (11 countries or 69 percent of the total), and deployment of solar power initiatives (18 countries or 55 percent).

Opportunities for future progress

Current ACBP projects already provide significant support to the implementation of NDC commitments in Sub-Saharan Africa, and there is significant potential for enhancing efforts to scale up NDC implementation at both the country and regional level.

Current and upcoming ACBP projects will continue to make explicit linkages to NDC sectoral / subsectoral priorities at critical stages of the project planning and design process. New projects will take into consideration country-specific NDC implementation support needs, including the need to establish an institutional framework and coordination mechanism; develop Measuring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) systems; craft NDC implementation and investment plans; and mobilize climate finance.

Note: The full progress report will be posted on-line by the World Bank before the end of 2017.



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