Absence of climate data impeding Africans’ access to climate funds – ADB

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ADB, Dr Anthony Okon Nyong, Director, Climate Change & Green Growth

Scarcity of functional climate data center is putting African countries at a disadvantage to access climate finance for development.

Without accurate climate data, the continent won’t have hard core evidence of what climate change is doing at ground level across the continent, the African Development Bank (ADB) has noted.

The Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the ADB Group, Dr Anthony Okon Nyong, has revealed that African countries are not able to write proposals that are convincing to access funds because of lack of climate data.

“When you go in to apply for climate finance, you are going to write a proposal and say what needs to be done and what the projected impact will be and also what the mitigation element will be but we in Africa do not have climate data for it and  that is a major obstacle,” he explained.

Dr Nyong said Africa governments cannot blame donors for not making climate funds available.

“Because those data centres generate climate information for aviation and the shipping lines, they tell how things are going so why can’t we, for our development, see this as important and put money in there,” he querried.

“Because the services they render are not tangible like building a school or building a road, people don’t really put money in there, but that is what will enable us to attract climate finance because we are able to tell a coherent story to include climate rational in our projects, our leaders need to know,” he added.             

The world meteorological office estimates that there are just over 1,100 active weather stations in the whole of Africa, a continent of 54 countries of which many have different climates.

The number of stations has halved over the last 30 years due to poor government funding, maintenance costs and inadequate resources.

Climate change has already brought more extreme weather conditions to most African countries.

Dr Nyong said it was worrying and sad that Africa as a continent has few climate data centres and is unable to report on monthly or annual time scale because the continent lacks the resources.

He said the ADB is backing schemes being rolled out to spread personal weather monitors across the continent.

“So for us at the African Development Bank we recognize this sad development on the continent and we are working to strengthen [it].  We have already worked with regional climate centres and we are now going to national climate centres to help,” he revealed.

Speaking on the sidelines at the Africa climate week in Accra Ghana with Adom news Shadrach Assan, Dr Nyong said he believes the deliberations and dialogues at the various meetings show that Africa has a lot to present to the UN Secretary-General in September 2019 to showcase that Africa will do her bit in the fight against climate change. 

He said African government should invest in data collection and monitoring and try to get the private sector involved in funding such initiatives if they are to make a good case at the UN Secretary Generals.

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