Climate Change

High-level UK-FAO event puts spotlight on climate investment opportunities in Africa


Key actors in the climate finance and international development arena joined together on 20 May 2021 to discuss the climate change-related challenges African countries face, and the opportunities to access Green Climate Fund (GCF) resources for mitigation and adaptation projects.

The high-level event – co-hosted by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and FAO – attracted over 160 participants from around the globe, including National Designated Authorities,  representatives from British diplomatic missions, GCF counterparts and FAO colleagues.

Africa’s agriculture sector is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change: extreme weather events – such as large storms, heavy rainfall, and prolonged periods of drought – threaten food security and the livelihoods of millions of rural smallholders, especially the rural poor.

FAO and GCF – the world’s largest dedicated fund for climate action – have raised over USD 68 million for projects in Côte d’Ivoire, the Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of the Sudan that build climate resilience, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spur sustainable growth.

Access to large-scale climate investments creates opportunities for countries to meet the commitments laid out in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and to align national strategies and programmes with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Through our strong partnership, GCF and FAO provide the finance and expertise required for nations and peoples around the world to adapt to the new realities of a changing climate, develop resilient food systems, reduce and mitigate emissions, and ensure a bright future for humanity and the planet,” said FAO’s Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo.

Countries also called for increased investments in projects that support Africa’s growing mitigation and adaptation portfolio, from strengthening the climate rationale with baseline studies to capacity building at all levels for effective project formulation and implementation.

As a Delivery Partner of GCF’s Readiness Programme, FAO has mobilized about USD 9 million in readiness grants for 13 readiness projects in Africa. Two-thirds of this funding is directed towards Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and about USD 4.5 million is allocated to strengthening Kenya’s and Sudan’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process.

FAO reiterated its commitment to leveraging partnerships and catalysing investments that foster low-emission, climate-resilient development, and at the same time, create green jobs, preserve biodiversity and ecosystems, and ensure food security. FAO’s ambitious pipeline of GCF projects in Africa, such as expanding the Great Green Wall, reflects FAO’s support to countries’ mitigation and adaptation needs, and promotes climate action that fosters a green recovery.

Participants acknowledged the good progress already made and agreed to take stock of successes and lessons learned to better inform climate action in the future.