BRAZZAVILLE, October 9, 2023 — New report highlights that the Republic of Congo could reduce poverty in rural areas by 40% and in urban areas by 20% by 2050 by implementing more ambitious reforms to promote economic diversification and climate resilience.
The new Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) also concludes that business as usual is not an option. Economic losses could reach up to 17% of GDP by 2050 if reforms to diversify the economy and attract more climate investments are not taken. Climate impacts could also increase total health costs from $92 million in 2010 to $260 million by 2050.
"The Republic of Congo is at a crossroads. Climate change threatens the country’s development gains and poses significant risks to its natural, physical and human capital, therefore to its development objectives," said Cheick Kante, World Bank Country Director for the Republic of Congo. “This report aims at promoting a debate on climate and development issues and identifies priority areas for action that can generate a greener and better future for all Congolese people”.
The report identifies four priorities to promote sustainable growth in the country:
- Stronger and greener infrastructure and services in electricity, transport, water, and sanitation can deliver transformative results. Around $9.2 billion will be needed to upgrade urban infrastructure, build resilience and mitigate climate change in Congolese cities.
- More climate-ready education, health systems and social services can save lives and bring critical resources to the poorest. This will require better disease surveillance systems, as well as education and social services that are better adapted to climate shocks.
- More investments in natural capital including climate smart agriculture and greater forest management along will help create jobs while reducing carbon emissions. Investing $245 million in climate smart agriculture can increase yields of key crops by 50% and reduce emissions by 12 mega tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (Mt CO2e).
- Better climate governance to leverage carbon markets. The forest contributes to US$260 million in timber exports and store over 44 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Protecting and valorizing the forest is critical to turn the country’s natural capital into wealth. A $690 million investment in alternative practices to slash and burn and impact logging would benefit 380,000 people from forest communities and reduce emissions by 131 Mt CO2e.
“The private sector has a critical role to play in mobilizing financing for an ambitious set of reforms and investments in the context of tight fiscal space," says Malick Fall, IFC Regional Representative in the Republic of Congo. "This will require raising awareness on risks and opportunities from climate change, and innovative solutions and financial sector reforms."
*The World Bank’s Country Climate and Development Reports (CCDRs) are new core diagnostic reports that integrate climate change and development considerations. They will help countries prioritize the most impactful actions that can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and boost adaptation, while delivering on broader development goals. CCDRs build on data and rigorous research and identify main pathways to reduce GHG emissions and climate vulnerabilities, including the costs and challenges as well as benefits and opportunities from doing so. The reports suggest concrete, priority actions to support the low-carbon, resilient transition. As public documents, CCDRs aim to inform governments, citizens, the private sector, and development partners and enable engagements with the development and climate agenda. CCDRs will feed into other core Bank Group diagnostics, country engagements and operations, and help attract funding and direct financing for high-impact climate action.