With more than 40% of the population living below the poverty line, the Burkinabe people are highly vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate, yet, have one of the lowest per capita emissions on the African continent, emphasizing the key issue of climate justice and equity. Despite the rise in terrorism and political instability in light of the January 2022 coup as well as the recent military overtake in September 2022, the Burkinabe government has made progress on the climate front, especially with regards to accessing international sources of funding, submitting a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) with a comprehensive assessment of needs per sector, and taking a gender sensitive approach to mainstreaming climate change in national policymaking. However, despite these efforts, considerable gaps remain in financing key adaptation sectors such as agriculture, water, and energy which provide livelihoods to those most vulnerable in Burkina Faso and upon whom the national security of the nation is contingent. With around 40% of the country out of the control of the state, climate related issues will likely be deprioritized for the near future. (Al Jazeera, 2022)

This report, part of the State of Climate Finance in Africa series, provides a deep dive analysis of tracked climate finance in Burkina Faso in 2019/2020. Following a discussion of climate change policies, strategies, and plans enacted in the country to date, it delves into climate finance committed to and within Burkina Faso, mapping flows along their lifecycles from sources and intermediaries (private and public), the financial instruments used to channel funds (grant, debt, or equity), and through to how finance is ultimately used on the ground (mitigation, adaptation, or dual benefits). While data gaps limit a fully comprehensive assessment, the key purpose of this case study is to inform and facilitate discussions among policymakers and public and private financiers and to identify gaps and opportunities for scaling climate finance in Burkina Faso.

Key Findings

In 2019/2020, USD 567 million of public and private capital was invested in climate-related activities in Burkina Faso, which is only 13% of its total needs (USD 4.1 billion by 2050). More specifically:

  • The investment gap for priority sectors looms large in the Burkina Faso climate finance landscape, given the estimated USD 4.1 billion needed to deliver on the NDC. From the adaptation angle, agriculture represents the highest investment costs in the country (USD 1.1 billion) followed by ecosystem services and water, according to the NDC.
  • Climate finance to Burkina Faso was largely provided by public actors (USD 452 million, 80%), especially for adaptation activities, while the private sector lagged behind (USD 116 million, 20%). It is important to note that the current absence of a domestic budgetary climate tagging framework limits a robust assessment of climate finance committed by domestic governments, whether state or local.
  • International public climate finance flowing to Burkina Faso from multilaterals and partner countries accounted for USD 431 million or 76% of all climate finance, the majority of which was channelled as low cost debt (42%) and project level debt (21%).
  • Corporations provided a significant share of private climate finance (USD 76 million, 65%) with a relatively smaller role played by commercial financial institutions (USD 28 million, 24%), and institutional investors (USD 12 million, 10%).
  • The majority of climate finance was committed for energy systems (USD 249 million) followed by AFOLU (USD 148 million), cross sectoral investments (USD 95 million), and water and wastewater (USD 50 million).

The following recommendations are derived from interviews with relevant stakeholders as well as analysis of the landscape data specific to policy and finance, with a view towards increasing the quantity and quality of climate finance in Burkina Faso:

Policy and Frameworks:

  1. Build capacity of local stakeholders using readiness grants and project preparation support.
  2. Prioritize more projects that enable technology transfer and promote country ownership.

Establish effective MRV frameworks given Burkina Faso is on the Financial Actional Task Force (FATF) grey list, which serves as an impediment to accessing donor funding over concerns around meeting adequate fiduciary standards.


  1. Leverage the potential of nature-based solutions and the voluntary carbon credit market.
  2. Scale up finance for off-grid technologies to achieve mitigation and adaptation goals simultaneously using demand side and supply side subsidies.
  3. Mobilize investment from the private sector using public finance as a de-risking mechanism:
    • De-risk private investment with provision of guarantees and concessional debt instruments.
    • Programmatic and Readiness support to Direct Access Entities of multilateral climate funds.
    • Explore innovative financing approaches like the Results Based Finance (RBF) and Pay As You Go (PAYGO) schemes.
    • Build a stable regulatory environment independent of political turmoil and establish Public Private Partnership (PPP) frameworks.
  4. Recognizing that adaptation and resilience investments will prove to be much harder to invest in for the private sector; push for Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) and Development Financial Institution (DFI) support.

Download the full report


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