In a significant move towards advancing climate action in Africa, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) — the world’s largest coalition of financial institutions committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 — has announced a strategic partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The collaboration aims to empower financial institutions across the continent to accelerate climate finance for low-carbon investments. Climate finance has remained low at a time the continent is most vulnerable to climate induced disasters.
The partnership was formalised with the signing of a Letter of Intent on the sidelines of the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, underscoring the shared commitment of both organisations towards combating climate change.
Through this initiative, GFANZ and the AfDB will leverage the GFANZ Africa Network and the African Financial Alliance on Climate Change (AFAC) to bolster climate finance efforts in Africa.
AFAC will play a central role in convening working groups dedicated to enhancing access to climate data, conducting comprehensive climate risk analyses and disclosures, setting climate targets, and providing capacity-building support for transition planning and finance.
The collaboration will also see GFANZ Africa and AFAC pooling resources, tools and engaging with the financial sector, alongside partnerships with key entities including UNEP-FI, the Global Centre for Adaptation, and FSD Africa.
Dr Timothy Afful-Koomson, chief climate finance officer of the African Development Bank, will assume the role of director of the GFANZ Africa Network.
In tandem with Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, chair of the GFANZ Africa Network Advisory Board, Dr Afful-Koomson, will spearhead the progress of GFANZ Africa and work towards fulfilling the board’s priorities.
The launch of the GFANZ Africa Network in September 2022 laid the foundation for this collaboration.
This network is dedicated to catalysing investment in Africa’s just transition, emphasising transition finance, showcasing African-led climate initiatives and supporting African financial institutions in effectively navigating the shift towards net-zero finance and economies.
AfDB president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, emphasised the crucial role of African financial institutions in the global transition towards sustainable practices. He expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership with GFANZ, highlighting the necessity of close collaboration and knowledge-sharing to ensure that finance flows at the scale and pace required.
“African financial institutions have a critical role to play in the global transition. I am delighted to partner with GFANZ to support a just transition in the region. Close collaboration and mutual knowledge sharing is essential for ensuring that finance flows at the scale and pace needed” he said.
Solomon Quaynor, vice president for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation at the African Development Bank, underscored the significance of the agreement in elevating awareness and understanding of climate risks and opportunities across all stakeholders in the African Financial Sector.
Michael R. Bloomberg, co-chair of GFANZ and UN Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, noted the immense potential for African countries to expand renewable energy production, foster economic growth and enhance public health.
He highlighted that this partnership with the African Development Bank will play a pivotal role in unlocking more financing for crucial projects, ultimately contributing to sustainable growth across the continent.