Climate Change in Africa
A race against time
We live in a complicated interconnected world, on a continent experiencing considerable economic, social and environmental challenges. Among the most significant of the environmental challenges is climate change. In Africa, climate change threatens to derail the significant development gains that have been made over the last decades; climate change also threatens future growth and development. Read more
Under the December 2015 global Paris Agreement on climate change, African nations have sent a clear signal of their commitment to achieve climate-resilient and low-carbon development through their pledged Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). However, a significant number of these African INDCs are conditional, hinged on receipt of support in the form of climate finance – those financial flows from developed to developing countries directed toward climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.
Last December at the game-changing global climate summit in Paris, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina eloquently listed his new flagship programmes, including a catalytic US $300-million fund to support women in business. Fellow panelist Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chair of the African Union Commission, applauded the initiative, but was quick to caution him not to use the funds to buy women simple farm tools like hoes. Zuma’s advice embodies what the fight against climate change, at least for Africa, is about.
The Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF) resilience program for low-income countries, is a bellwether for today’s emerging renovation of the global climate finance architecture. Its role as a preeminent global public sector program funding adaptation to climate change must be reviewed in light of the advent of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is aiming to direct 50% of its funds to adaptation.
Positive GDP growth has occurred across the continent for many years with bright spots in North, East, West and Southern regions which clearly show that development is spreading. Initiatives to promote energy such as the New Energy Deal for Africa recently launched in the African Development Bank, the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, Sustainable Energy 4 All (SE4ALL) and SEFA and CTF under the Climate Investment Funds are just some of the large scale initiatives promoting various forms of energy across Africa. The recent Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) renewable energy competition hosted by the AfDB showed that there is no shortage of small scale and innovative initiatives being promoted by avid entrepreneurs.