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AFRICA – How to get Africa out of climate injustice?

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(EARTH LOVE UNITED ) – The UN Climate Summit, which opened on 31 October in Glasgow, Scotland, is widely regarded as a last chance. While the main challenge is to convince 200 countries to do more to reduce their CO2 emissions, Africa also expects climate finance to be unlocked and increased. 

In the climate field, Africa is experiencing a real injustice: 4% of global CO2 emissions are attributed to the continent which has contributed the least to climate change, but which is suffering the worst effects. Cyclones, floods, droughts… the climate risk takes different forms and its repercussions are multiple. According to the 2021 Global Climate Risk Index compiled by the NGO Germanwatch, of the ten countries in the world most affected by climate change in 2019, five are African. According to the African Development Bank, the impact of climate change on the continent could reach $50 billion a year by 2040.

This disproportionate vulnerability was highlighted by the UN in a report on the state of the climate in Africa published on 19 October. This document highlights that climate change has contributed to worsening food insecurity, poverty and population displacement on the continent last year. “By 2030, it is estimated that up to 118 million extremely poor people will be exposed to drought, flooding and extreme heat in Africa if adequate action is not taken. In sub-Saharan Africa, climate change could lead to an additional 3% decline in gross domestic product by 2050,” writes Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission (AU). in the foreword of the report.

Financing to be released

Faced with this observation, African states intend to urge developed countries to keep their financial promises in order to limit global warming. “We have been waiting more than 10 years for the $100 billion a year promised to help developing countries deal with the climate emergency,” Tanguy Gahuma told AFP. “ Békalé, referring to the commitment made at the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009.

Indeed, while greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2020, attention will focus on the commitments of major emitters. “Current commitments lead to global warming of 2.7°C, but it’s 4°C to 5°C in Africa. This is not acceptable, the major emitters must review their copy,” said Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s ambassador responsible for climate negotiations. Aid is all the more urgent because Africa must not sacrifice its economic recovery on the altar of climate change. Given the scale of the needs, the response must go further, be broader, with more precise and qualitative objectives, as Gabonese Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale, Chair of the African Negotiating Group at COP26, points out.

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Leading countries and exemplary initiatives

On the continent, in the face of development priorities and the fight against poverty, the issue of the environment is too often relegated to the background. However, some countries are showing the way, like Gabon, one of the rare countries to have adopted policies for the preservation of the environment very early on. In addition to being able to boast a positive carbon footprint, the country is home to the world’s first industrial zone – the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ), managed by ARISE IIP – to be certified carbon-neutral. For their part, South Africa and Morocco are continental leaders in taking environmental issues into account, to which they allocate a substantial budget.

On climate change, some large-scale African initiatives stand out, such as the Great Green Wall of the African Union or the African Development Bank’s Desert to Power initiative, which aims to build the world’s largest solar power generation zone in the Sahel. In the same dynamic, but on a different scale, many start-ups and NGOs are working locally to limit the effects of climate change. In the face of the immense challenges, actions are multiplying for the protection of natural forests, the restoration of wetlands and the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices.

While many NGOs are positioned on the environmental issue, the issue of awareness is a major component. Thus, the Earth Love United Foundation, founded in 2020, multiplies actions to raise awareness on climate issues. This action goes hand in hand with the development of a carbon capture and storage technology based on a bioreactor and the cultivation of various plants, whose first test site is in Benin. “This technology will play an increasingly important role in the decarbonization scenarios in which the major polluters are engaged,” said Jean Missinhoun, President of the Earth Love United Foundation. “

Source : Agence Ecofin

       

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