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
The imbalance in investment in adaptation and mitigation is both well documented and logical. The Multilateral Development Banks, for example, report that 80% of climate finance is tagged as mitigation whilst only 20% is adaptation, and that comes from institutions whose mandate is development. For the private sector, there is no obvious or easy return for investing in technologies that improve public health or air quality, or provide long term flood defenses or irrigation services to subsistence farmers. These are public goods that are traditionally provided by public funds.
Article 6 of the Paris Agreement makes provision for the development of both market and non-market mechanisms. While there is no formal definition of a market and a non-market mechanism, one may suppose that market and non-market mechanisms could share a common basis of how to methodologically determine baselines and estimate climate outcomes. The verification process could also be similar. The key difference could be that non-market mechanisms do not result in universal and internationally tradable units that could be re-sold and be subject to market price fluctuations and speculation. It may be assumed that non-market-based mechanisms is an umbrella for a variety of climate policies, measures and actions that could not be described as market mechanisms.
Is the Green Climate Fund ready to meet the Paris Agreement’s ambitions in Africa?
With the December 2015 adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN-based Green Climate Fund (GCF) is expected to play a critical role as a major global climate finance instrument, particularly to help developing countries implement their pledges under the Agreement. But, based on its design and current development, is the Fund ready to facilitate Africa’s green development ambitions?
The UNFCCC’s COP 22, as the COP of Action centered in Africa with Morocco at the helm, is a remarkable opportunity for Africa to rally the international community around its urgent efforts to gain real ground on its interlinked goals for essential development and climate action on the continent.
The December 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change is a global treaty in which all participating countries agree to do what they can to contribute towards “holding the increase in global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”. Specifically, countries agree to do this through their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to be submitted every five years to the UN Climate Change Convention.