FSD Africa

Training Programme Builds Capacity for African Stakeholders to Accelerate Access to Climate Finance

A Triple Crisis

Our world is facing three interconnected crises: climate change, biodiversity loss and entrenched poverty. Major shifts need to happen in the next decade so that our societies, economies and ecosystems can adapt to handle these threats. The UN has laid out 17 sustainable development goals which we need to meet by 2030, however, there is still a significant dearth of investment globally.

It is estimated that a further US$10 trillion is required to meet these goals. Developing nations have a disproportionately high mountain to climb, with the annual adaptation costs for these countries hovering around US$70 billion. It is predicted that this figure will increase to US$140-300 billion by 2030 and US$280-500 billion by 2050.

In Africa, total domestic and international annual climate finance flows for 2020 (CPI-Landscape of Climate Finance in Africa 2022), were only US$29.5 billion, just 12% of the amount needed. The financing gap is significant: All African countries together have a combined GDP of US$2.4 trillion (World Bank 2021), implying that 10% of Africa’s current annual GDP needs to be mobilized above and beyond current flows every year for the next 10 years.

The Private Sector Has a Big Part To Play

The report also highlights that private-sector financing remains too low. It contributed only 14% (US$4.2 billion) of total climate finance in Africa, much lower than in other regions like South Asia (37%), East Asia and Pacific (39%), and Latin America & Caribbean (49%).

It is impossible for the public sector to shoulder this financial burden alone. Therefore, the private sector must play a pivotal role in mitigating the potential damages brought by a carbon-intensive, ‘business-as-usual’ global economy as well as finding innovative approaches for adapting to a changed climate.

Businesses must start this process now. The economic models show the cost of meeting the targets set by The Paris Agreement will be nothing compared to the cost of the damages of global average temperatures rising beyond 2°C. The longer the private sector drags its feet, the harder this target will be hit in the long-term.

But for the private sector to engage fully, those in leadership positions need a much clearer understanding of the resources available. This is doubly true in emerging markets which are the hardest hit by the effects of climate change but have the lowest awareness of the opportunities afforded by climate finance programmes.

Our Programme

FSD Africa, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership (CISL) and East and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) have partnered to deliver a five-year project to remedy this.

This training aims to provide a better understanding of how it’s possible to shift from business-as-usual to ‘business-unusual’ investments which can utilise public and private climate finance to tackle the biggest challenge of our time.

It will build the knowledge and capabilities of leaders in policy, government and financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, to support a climate-resilient economy. Regional policymakers, regulators, academia, industry, financial market participants and civil society, are all encouraged to attend the programme’s training sessions, with our ultimate goal being to create a regional centre of excellence on climate finance.

The training will equip both national and local leaders with the knowledge and capabilities required to redirect capital flows in such a way as to mitigate the economic, social and environmental impacts of the changing climate. The training will be conducted by small teams of expert trainers and facilitators, all of whom have deep experience working with senior leaders from business, the finance sector and government.

After the training is complete, influential decision makers across Africa will learn about the prospects and processes for unlocking private sector capital through international climate funds, with a particular focus on the opportunities public climate finance can provide in reducing the barriers for mobilising private climate finance for action on climate change.

Those with the power to effect change will have a firmer grasp of the problems at hand and the tools available to steer through them. A new class of African leaders will arise.

Upcoming Training

The training in February 2023 will consist of two courses organised by CISL and IIED over a period of 5 days in Lusaka, Zambia.

The CISL course, the Africa Climate Finance Leadership Programme, is comprised of a mixture of plenary sessions, which offer specialist deep-dives into the opportunities and processes for unlocking private sector capital through international climate funds, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and smaller group sessions where attendees can share knowledge and learn how they can better use their roles and spheres of influence to effect change.

The IIED course, Unlocking public climate finance for sustainable business transformation, is a practical module on pathways to accessing climate finance. It will cover the main policies, procedures and tools that interested public and private sector actors need to access climate funds. This will include special sessions covering gender, environmental and social safeguards, as well as accreditation of direct access entities.

If you or someone from your organisation would like to attend, please sign up via the following link