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PRESS RELEASEDecember 7, 2023

Benin Can Create Opportunities for a Just Energy Transition and Green Inclusive Growth: World Bank Report

COTONOU, December 7, 2023 - While high growth over the past decade has helped Benin reduce poverty, the country’s development gains are threatened by the impact of climate shocks, according to the new Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) released today. Bold actions are needed to promote sustainable and inclusive growth, seizing opportunities for greater forest and land management, resilient urban infrastructure, and energy transition to achieve universal access to electricity.

Benin has amongst the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, yet it remains one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, ranking 152 out of 181 countries for extreme climate vulnerability. Floods are increasingly severe and pose significant challenges to the inadequate water supply, sanitation, and waste collection systems. In addition to increased deforestation, the country's 125 km of coastline is suffering from severe coastal erosion, which is likely to worsen if nothing is done.

“The issue raised by the report is how to reconcile development with the challenge of climate change in order to protect the poor and vulnerable,” said Nathalie Picarelli, World Bank Senior Economist, and principal author of the report. “Our report estimates that almost half a million to a million more people could fall into poverty by 2050 if no adaptation measures are taken.”

Benin’s vulnerability to climate change is due, in part, to an economic structure dependent on agriculture and informal employment. However, there is cause for optimism if the country chooses to move quickly towards building a resilient economy, with investment and policy options focused on adaptation to climate change risks.  

''Benin has made significant progress in parts of the coast to tackle coastal erosion, but more needs to be done as it records one of the highest rates of coastal erosion in the Gulf of Guinea,” said Manuela Ravina Da Silva, World Bank Environmental Specialist and co-author of the report. “There is also a need to invest more in mitigation measures, including renewable energy, to expand access to electricity for the country’s people and tackle deforestation through sustainable land use systems to meet the country’s reforestation aims by 2030.

Adapting to climate change requires a resilient growth model. Government and the private sector need to be better prepared to deal with climate change; building adequate institutions and governance structures will be crucial. While all sectors will have to become more resilient, this is especially urgent for agriculture and land use, urban and network infrastructure, and human development (education, health).

"Benin's development agenda is highly ambitious. Addressing the challenge of climate change is important for achieving inclusive growth. The financing needs are large and will require coordinated action, innovative financing solutions and crowding-in the private sector. The CCDR is a call to action for all stakeholders in Benin's development,’’ said Nestor Coffi, Work Bank Country Manager for Benin.


In Cotonou:
Gnona Afangbedji,
+229 90074732


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