United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director Mandisa Mashologu says Africa is the most vulnerable in terms of climate change as adaptation will cost billions of dollars by 2030.

Speaking when she gave a presentation at the 2017 Climate Diplomacy Day at Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka yesterday, Mashologu said it was estimated that Africa’s adaptation to climate change would cost US$30 billion dollars per year by 2030.

“Basically in Africa we are the continent that has contributed the least to global greenhouse adaptation but we are the most vulnerable in terms of climate change. It is estimated that the cost of Africa’s adaptation to climate Change will be to enhance US$ 30 billion dollars a year by 2030. this will not only cost governments billions of dollars but threatens the lives and livelihood of hundreds and billions of people. Climate finance in Africa has been growing considerably. However $3.3 billion has been approved for over 453 projects and programmes to our sub-Saharan Africa since 2003. However, only 45 percent of the approved funding is actually delivered for adaptation measures,” Mashologu said.

She said globally, over $5.7 trillion would be needed for green infrastructure within the developing world.

“But just to understand the context globally, that over $5.7 trillion will be needed in terms of green infrastructure within the developing world. Various initiatives also need to be put in place so that the role of the public and private sector in terms of funding is critical to ensure that the SDGs and this is taking place. This is to ensure that climate financing is available globally. We have various opportunities to several investment funds,” Mashologu explained.

And speaking at the same event, Lands and Natural Resources Minister Jean Kapata said government had in 2016 put in place a national policy on climate change which provided a coordinated response in addressing its challenges.

“Zambia has defined its role and agenda of contributing to the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change. As you may be aware, the Zambian government has put in place a national policy on climate change of 2016 which has provided a coordinated response in addressing the challenges of climate change. In addition, through this policy, government has put in place a long term institutional framework to ensure effective implementation of climate change programmes in the country. These include the council of ministers on climate change as a supreme decision making body chaired by her honor the Vice president. This council of ministers is supported by a steering committee of permanent secretaries and a technical committee of experts,” Kapata said.

“For Zambia to achieve its ambitious contributions to effective implementation of the Paris Agreement as outlined in our nationally determined contribution, the country requires sufficient support in form of finance, technology, capacity building among other. It is our hope that the European Union which has been an all weather friend to Zambia can help us expedite this transition from planning to implementation of our priorities.”

Meanwhile, Zambia’s Ambassador to Sweden Henrik Caderin noted that climate change had remained one of the greatest challenges faced by the continent.

“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, and the African continent is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Food security, sustainable water supply and extreme weather phenomena are major issues that require joint efforts. The Paris agreement was a milestone for climate efforts. We will continue supporting climate action in order to reduce emissions and in order to build resilience to climate change in developing countries and emerging economies. Particular focus will be in building capacity to address common issues of mitigation and adaptation as well as health mobilizing needs of this implementation,” said Ambassador Caderin.

The third annual Climate Diplomacy Day which was conducted by the European Union in conjunction with the Zambian government was held under the theme: ‘Scaling efforts towards a greener future.’