A new report launched at Cop28 by the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and the University of Exeter urges a shift in focus towards how infrastructure can contribute to the resilience of communities and economies in Africa, especially those most vulnerable to climate extremes.
“Climate hazards such as extreme heat and humidity, drought, heavy rainfall, and sea-level rise are increasingly seen across many parts of Africa,” stated Professor Richard Betts, a lead author of the report.
“Millions of people in Africa are more vulnerable to these threats because they lack access to critical power, transport, and water services, or rely on aging, overstretched, or informal infrastructure.”
Anna Murphy, another lead author, stressed the need for solutions that prioritise people while addressing multiple challenges simultaneously.
Investing in climate solutions
“The most inspiring and effective solutions focus on people, yet tackle multiple issues simultaneously,” she said. “Multipurpose roads can be designed to mitigate flood risk and store water for use in drought periods.”
Tom Powell, another key author, emphasised the challenge for investors to strategically use resources to maximise climate-resilient development. “By doing this, investment can drive processes and outcomes which can endure, self-sustain and cascade, even in the face of climate change,” Powell asserted.
Philippe Valahu from PIDG highlighted the significance of infrastructure financing in developing and emerging markets, stating, “Infrastructure financing at scale and pace in developing and emerging markets is crucial to climate resilience and sustainable development where these challenges are most urgent.”
The report, titled “Africa climate solutions: Investing in infrastructure for climate resilience across Africa”, aims to redefine what investing in climate action means in the continent, opening new avenues for investors and facilitating decisions that accelerate climate-resilient development.
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