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 a post 2020 climate regime, all countries will have the opportunity (obligation?) to develop and implement effective policies and measures to help meet their climate change commitments. Carbon markets have had a chequered history but their time could be approaching. Here are seven steps to create a carbon market which can be implemented approximately sequentially over a timescale of 5 to 15 years:
The US$100 billion additional finance unveiled in the run-up to CoP21 is an important sign of commitment from developed countries. In fact, many developing countries see it as the single most important issue for the Paris COP. However, while it's a significant sum, there is a danger that if we focus too much on it, we'll miss the real event.
You may be forgiven for thinking that Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs are just another UNFCCC requirement to add to a long list of reports and official submissions on the UNFCCC website which consume resources in hard-pressed finance, planning and environment ministries.
It is widely acknowledged that while Africa is a minor contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, it bears a disproportionate amount of the adverse effects of climate change impacts. Being the continent with the greatest vulnerability to climate change, and lowest adaptive capacity, has provided the impetus for Africa’s commitment to chart a global response to climate change within the multilateral processes of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Africa is highly vulnerable to the impacts of long term climate variability and extreme events. It is increasingly facing multiple stresses that will be magnified by climate change leading to a complex set of problems. Moreover, many countries have high levels of poverty, aggravated by land degradation and desertification especially in arid and semi-arid areas, resource-based conflicts, migration and rapid urbanization.