By Asmau Ahmad
The United States Government says it will provide a $5 million grant to the African Development Bank (AfDB), to support efforts to reduce methane gas emission across Africa.
U.S. Special Presidential envoy for climate, Mr John Kerry made the announcement at a breakfast event held on the sideline of the ongoing 18th African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) being held in Dakar, Senegal.
This is according to a statement from the Communication and External Relations Department of AfDB on Thursday.
The conference which began on Sept. 12, and would end on Sept. 16, has as its theme “Securing People’s Well-being and Ensuring Environmental Sustainability in Africa”.
According to the statement, methane accounts for about half of the net rise in global average temperature since the pre-industrial era.
Kerry said more than 25 countries on the continent had joined the Global Methane Pledge, “a resounding level of support for the importance of methane in keeping 1.5 degrees within reach”.
“I am very pleased that AfDB is responding to the increased global attention on methane emissions and is planning to increase their own focus on methane abatement in coming years,” he added.
The Global Methane pledge, inaugurated during COP26, targets reducing emissions of methane by at least 30 per cent from 2020 levels over the next seven years.
Welcoming the contributions, AfDB Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Mr Kevin Kariuki said the bank planned to create activities within the Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF) to support methane reduction.
“With the support of the U.S. government, and other donors and non-state actors, we intend to create a dedicated pillar of activities within our Africa Climate Change Fund.
“To support methane abatement including working with countries to include methane in their Nationally Defined Contributions and develop pipelines of methane abatement projects for further investment.
“This will provide an excellent foundation for increased focus on methane emissions,” Kariuki said.
The AfDB would be releasing a methane baseline reporting covering waste and energy sector methane emissions across Africa at the forthcoming COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The grant, subject to the completion of U.S. domestic procedures and approvals, would go to the multi-donor ACCF, which is managed by the bank.
The fund supports a broad range of activities covering climate resilience and low-carbon growth.
Additional funding was also promised by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the Global Methane Hub to tackle methane emissions in African countries.
The Global Methane Hub would contribute five million dollars over the next three years.
The hub funds methane mitigation efforts.
The coalition, a voluntary partnership of governments, intergovernmental organisations, businesses, and research institutions, would provide 1.2 million dollars.
The five-day 18th Session of AMCEN ends on Friday and is organised by the United Nations Environment Programme.
It provides African environment ministers a forum to offer policy guidance that will contribute to strengthening Africa’s voice at the COP27.
The ACCF was established in April 2014 to support African countries in building their resilience to the negative impacts of climate change and in transitioning to sustainable low-carbon growth.