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 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.
In December 2015, in view of the need to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2 ° C or 1.5 ° C, the international community adopted the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The Agreement is historic, because for the first time it brings developed and developing countries together around a common goal of long-term climate action through countries’ planned contributions, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
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.