As the continent actively prepares to host the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27, to be held this year in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 7-18, 2022, all signals are red on the impact of climate change in Africa which has become a burning concern with its consequences becoming more and more palpable. Hence the urgency to act and increase funding for adaptation is essential.
To date, conferences, debates, and reports are multiplying to prepare and bring Africa’s voice to COP27.
Several African leaders denounced the absence of heads of industrialized states at a summit in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Organized in support of Africa’s adaptation to climate change, the continent’s leaders pleaded, in particular, to obtain more funds two months before COP27 in Egypt.
“I cannot fail to note with bitterness the absence of the leaders of the industrialized world, since they are the main polluters of this planet, they are the ones who must finance adaptation” launched Macky Sall, President in the office of the African Union and President of Senegal, during the opening of the summit.
Compared to other regions of the world, Africa is the least resilient continent to climate change due to a high level of vulnerability and a low level of preparedness.
“The African continent is the one with the least impact on climate change, but paradoxically, suffers the majority of the consequences of these scourges,” said Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Several African leaders point the finger at the failure of the international community to meet the objectives of COP21 in Paris in 2015. That is to say, to contain, by 2100, global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, ideally limit it to 1.5 degrees. But according to the World Meteorological Organization, the warming could reach 2.5 to 3 degrees.
In the longer term, if nothing changes, the consequences will be severe for the continent. Thus, by 2030, up to 118 million people living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.90 a day) will be exposed to drought, floods, and extreme heat. By 2050, climate change could cause up to a 3% further decline in gross domestic product.
Committing to the climate without compromising its development is the position that Africa intends to defend at COP27.
“Africa loses between 5 and 15 points of GDP per capita growth due to climate change and its related effects. This is why the continent needs about 1.6 trillion dollars, by 2030, to meet the commitments made by each country during the Paris agreement”, recalled Kevin Urama, chief economist and vice-president of the AfDB (African Development Bank). Urges developed countries to close the “climate finance gap”.
In its report published in July entitled “On the road to COP27: Positioning Africa in the global climate debate”, the Mo-Ibrahim Foundation showed that it is essential that future climate commitments take into account the specific context of the African continent, including its desired development prospects, and also incorporate the important role that the continent can play in a low carbon future globally.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which campaigns for good governance on the continent, believes that the energy transition in Africa must be based on both renewable energies and natural gas, the least polluting fossil energy.
Africa currently represents 17% of the world’s population but only 6% of the world’s energy supply. Addressing this energy deficit, while considering the fight against global warming, requires mobilizing the continent’s vast renewable resources.
Promises are not kept. During the COP in Copenhagen in 2009, rich countries pledged to pay 100 billion a year to the poorest. More than ten years later, the account is still not there.