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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.

21 Oct 2019

Valuing Resilience - Why should the international community contribute towards the costs of adaptation to climate change and how can it be done?

Adaptation benefits are in a similar position today to that of emission reductions in the 1990s, when the international community was broadly aware that greenhouse gas emissions had to be reduced, but the available technologies and know-how, such as renewable energy generation, were not financially attractive and no large-scale mechanisms existed to encourage their adoption. Mitigation benefits, by contrast, are well defined. There are several mechanisms to legislate, recognize, incentivize or reward ways to reduce emissions. Results-based payment mechanisms for mitigation, notably the...
09 Jul 2019

Alternative Commercial Investment Models for African Forestry

Despite the immense potential of Africa’s vast, resource-rich forests, commercial investments in forestry have nearly ground to a halt across the continent over the course of the past decade. Since 2000, for instance, the commercial private sector has established only about 125,000 hectares of new plantations, whereas smallholders have planted a mere 250,000 hectares. To make matters worse, government-owned forests shrank by approximately 100,000 hectares during the same period. All this has occurred in spite of continued infrastructural improvements in the sector and sustained commercial...
21 Mar 2019

Innovative financing key to meeting climate adaptation targets for African countries

Despite having well defined national climate goals, African countries continue to struggle to raise the financing needed to meet their targets, particularly for climate adaptation. This will be the key message for climate experts and representatives from around the world, attending the Africa Climate Week 2019 currently underway in Accra, Ghana under the theme “Climate Action in Africa: A Race We Can Win”. Hosted by the Government of Ghana, the week-long event comes in the wake of the COP24 international climate negotiations, which concluded with the successful finalization of the “...
12 Dec 2018

CLIMAT : Rendre aux forêts leur rôle régulateur en impliquant les acteurs locaux dans leur gestion

Les forêts jouent un rôle de premier plan dans le climat mondial. Les arbres et les sols qui les composent captent le dioxyde de carbone de l’atmosphère et le convertissent, par la photosynthèse, en carbone, qu’ils emmagasinent ensuite sous la forme de bois et de végétation. C’est un processus connu sous le terme de « piégeage du carbone ». Les forêts fixent d’énormes quantités de carbone. Au total, les forêts et les sols forestiers de la planète stockent plus de 1 000 milliards de tonnes de carbone, deux fois plus que le volume présent dans l’atmosphère. Empêcher ces...
10 Dec 2018

Applying results-based finance to the Paris Agreement

Results-based finance is a mechanism that enables an “off-taker” to pay a “project developer” for the delivery of specific results. For a results-based payment mechanism to work, four key elements are required:A clear definition of the deliverable that one party can supply and that other wishes to pay for;A credible and transparent means of monitoring and reporting on the deliverable, ideally cost effectively;Certainty that the deliverable is unique and has not been sold to another party; andA contract that enables both parties to rely on the other, agree a price and terms of delivery and to...
26 Nov 2018

Engaging private sector in financing local climate adaptation: What lessons can we learn from Africa and how to scale them up?

“I nearly lost everything this year, when my rice farm almost collapsed during an unprecedented drought.”  Mrs. Sacca has been farming rice for the past seven years on her two one-hectare plots of lowland near N’Dali, north-east of Benin. The rice she grows is the main source of subsistence for her family. On a good year, she can generate enough revenue from her rice sales to pay her children’s school fees and to keep her family clothed, fed and housed. “It was a close call! The rains were late on one of my two rice furrows, which are 5km apart. With the help of two young people from the...
07 Sep 2018

Africa’s commitment to integrating gender in climate change adaptation polices and initiatives matters

Actors across Africa can show their commitment to ending gender  inequality by reconsidering climate change policy and initiatives.    Africa stands to be disproportionately affected by climate change comparative to its contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions (less than seven percent), and disadvantaged groups, such as women and young people, will bear the brunt of this, as their ability to cope is compromised by limited access to resources and power.    To better serve women, there needs to be greater awareness of  the impact of climate...
07 Sep 2018

Climate change interventions in Africa: applying a gender lens

A common image of Africa is that of women and girls walking long distances carrying heavy loads of water and fuelwood. Climate Change is forcing women and girls to walk ever longer distances due to water and fuel scarcity – endangering their health and safety – and restricting their educational and income generating opportunities. Women in Africa rely heavily on environment-related livelihoods and as such they are an under-tapped resource in efforts to adopt to the serious realities of climate change and to contain their impact. They are potentially important partners in promoting and...
07 Jun 2018

How can waste management drive green growth?

In Africa, solid waste management is a major developmental challenge with serious consequences for environmental quality, public health, fisheries, agriculture, and sustainable development. Today, most African countries lack the resources, infrastructures, skills and expertise necessary to tackle the amount and complexity of solid waste being produced. Currently, 19 out of the world’s 50 biggest dumpsites are located in Africa. High population growth, urbanization rates, and new consumption pathways will exacerbate waste production, which is projected to exceed 160 million tons by 2025...
04 Jun 2018

From the scourge of plastic waste pollution in Africa to value addition and improved livelihoods

The theme for World Environment Day celebrations in 2018 is “Beat Plastic Pollution.” There has been a big focus on the devastating impacts of plastic waste (particularly single-use plastics) on the marine environment, human health and regarding climate change. According to the World Bank Urban Development Series report Africa produces just about 70 million tons of waste which is expected to increase with population growth. Plastics waste poses a significant environmental challenge across the continent, but it also provides an opportunity for innovative and radical “outside the box” thinking...