African Development Bank

Integration of climate change into country level work

This page is part of the E3G Public Bank Climate Tracker Matrix, our tool to help you assess the Paris alignment of public banks, MDBs and DFIs.

Paris alignmentReasoning
Some progressThe Bank’s country approach is mindful of climate change, including mitigation and adaptation, but does not appear to account specifically for NDC ambitions.


The AfDB’s country work is governed by Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) and Regional Integration Strategy Papers (RISPs). These documents make up one of three arms of the Bank’s overarching operational strategy, the other two being Corporate and Sector Papers.  Both CSPs and RISPs are usually built with a five-year timeline in mind, and aim to provide a structured action plan for the Bank activities in the country or region, respectively.  These documents are developed separately, but aim to align with the Bank’s High 5s and address cross-cutting issues, including climate change and resilience in transitional states.  CSPs are uniquely tailored to the member countries development needs and priorities, while RISPS focus on overarching goals and regional integration. The plans set forth in such strategies feed into the Bank’s yearly Indicative Operational Plan, the Bank’s grand inventory of all projects taking place that year.

The AfDBs Second Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP2) states that the Bank’s climate team “will use existing Indicative Operational Plans (IOPs)” and “participate, as far as staffing resources allow, in the drafting and mid-term reviews of CSPs and RISPs going forward”.  The document also states that “staff in the Bank’s country offices and Regional Business Development Centres, working with Regional Member Country staff, can use the CCAP2 Monitoring & Evaluation Framework to revise or update CSPs and RISPs in line with national/regional climate change priorities”.

The AfDB’s 2004 Policy on the Environment cites the environment as a key area of the Bank’s country-level interventions, emphasising that environmental issues will be fundamental to various country work efforts and “mainstreamed in a fully participatory manner”. 

In 2012, the Bank developed a Guidance Document for Mainstreaming Climate Change in the Bank’s Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) and Regional Integration Strategy Paper (RISPs), which included “recommendations and guidance to ensure that, as the Bank engages in dialogue with governments on climate change issues, climate risks are taken into account”.  Climate change experts working within the country or regional teams can use the guidelines to design improved climate-resilient country strategies*.  At the time of its publication in 2012, the AfDB was a leader in this area amongst the other MDBs, with Bank Information Centre (BIC) and Sierra Club concluding in 2015 that “the AfDB is the only MDB with a specific objective to mainstream climate change into Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) and Regional Integration Strategy Papers (RISPs)”.

The Guidance Document is however more focused on adaptation than mitigation. It includes advice on undertaking a rapid climate risk assessment, suggestions on how to mitigate climate risks, and then how to identify co-finance for proposed investments*. The document has now been updated to take into account the Paris Agreement and its implications, including further information on the identification of mitigation opportunities, in view of the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement**. 

AfDB has finalised and published 25 Country Climate Change Profiles, with the rest yet to be completed, to provide climate change data and information per country and region.  The reports include weather and climate risk profiles, GHG emissions and energy discussion and national mitigation and adaptation priorities.

The AfDB published a study in 2015 concluding that there were benefits to using a two-tier system of country (CSP) and project assessments to enhance ESG performance.  The study assesses the legal and operational pitfalls in country frameworks that can lead to lacking environmental safeguards. This is highly country-specific, and as such their acknowledgment can be used by the Bank to better assist countries in holding up ESG standards.

Recommendation: The Bank should consider finishing the remaining climate change profiles, and use their findings to influence country work regarding climate resilience and mitigation efforts.

Recommendation: The Bank should integrate NDC goals consistent with the 1.5°C scenario into CSPs and RISPs.

*Guidance Document for Mainstreaming Climate Change in Bank’s CSPs and RISPs, 2012. Requested from AfDB directly.

**Information received from AfDB


Last Update: November 2020

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