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Africa's Climate and Climate Change Issues


Globally, the United Nations has implemented various strategies to achieve carbon neutrality. One such initiative is the "Race to Zero" network, which has certain criteria (racetozero@unfcc.int) that must be met in order to participate. The minimum requirements for joining the campaign include the following: the five "P's" - pledge, plan, proceed, publish, and persuade. These guidelines help set targets and goals for each participant, such as limiting warming to 1.5°C in line with reducing fossil fuel usage, developing an action plan within 12 months of joining the Race to Zero, providing immediate support to contribute to sectoral breakthroughs, and implementing additional policies and engagement to work towards the goal of achieving zero emissions by 2030 and 2050 at global stages gradually and accordingly.



African countries also do their part to tighten the fight for climate change action by cooperating with various stakeholders. The following are the African climate change global partners: UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, UN Climate Change, and the World Bank Group. Additionally, there are regional-based partners such as the Africa Union (AU), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the Africa Development Bank (AFDB), among others.

This review aims to provide an overview of the climate agenda, discussing factors that contribute to climate damage and necessary steps to put into action to prevent such problems, particularly in Africa in the light of the global arena.

 


The Impact of Climate Change on Africa

The #AfricaClimateWeek 2023 referred to as ACW2023 aligned with the climate change agenda discussion was held in Nairobi, Kenya between 4-8 September. The agenda of the discussion focuses on four thematic tracks such as energy system and its industry; cities, urban and rural settlements, infrastructure and transport areas; land, ocean, food and water; and societies, health, livelihoods, and economies to provide region contributions towards the global stocktake systems.


Currently, the climate agenda is focused on mobilizing a "global stocktake" to address the issue of global warming and meet the standards set by the Paris Agreement, which aim to keep global temperatures below 1.5°C. This involves promoting clean and affordable energy, supporting green industry, creating an impactful climate change plan, and taking action to bridge the gap in political signals. It also requires a better understanding and implementation of the model by integrating the public and private sectors, with high involvement from governments and youth participation at both national and local levels. This will help align with focal individuals, entities, or groups of representative people.



According to vast studies and analyses highlighted, climate change is having a substantial impact on African countries, both environmentally and financially. These changes have caused several challenges, such as an increase in temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns leading to drought and famine, damage to infrastructure, and a loss of biodiversity. Rising temperatures in Africa have led to heatwaves and droughts, which have impacted agriculture, water resources, and ecosystems. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, Africa's temperatures are projected to increase at a faster rate than the global average, leading to significant environmental stress. In addition, climate change has led to changes in rainfall patterns, including prolonged droughts and intense rainfall events, which are becoming more frequent. This variability affects agricultural productivity and exacerbates water scarcity, particularly in regions that rely on rain-fed agriculture. The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) reports that the variability and unpredictability of rainfall patterns are posing significant challenges to food security and livelihoods in Africa. Climate change is also a significant threat to Africa's rich biodiversity, including iconic species and unique ecosystems. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) states that rising temperatures, habitat loss, and other climate-related factors drive species extinction and alter ecosystems across the continent.

 


Challenges and Opportunities

The climate agenda is a long-lasting issue, not new a phenomenon. The strategy and discussion of accelerating the shift of energy resources from fossil fuels to renewable energy like wind and solar power is highly promising and potentially high, but it is not easy smoothly due to various impediments.


Africa is a continent highly vulnerable due to the reason of developed countries' unethical utilization of industrial expansions as well as unlimited carbon emissions in particular without taking into consideration the #ParisAgreement or respect. Even though some promise is associated with financial coverage in light of the climate damage is never put into effect or very small. Climate change affects Africa's economy in several ways. Decreased agricultural productivity, increased healthcare costs, and reduced tourism revenue are some of the financial implications. Climate-related disruptions to agriculture could lead to significant economic losses and exacerbate poverty and food insecurity in the region. Climate change also contributes to the spread of diseases such as malaria, cholera, and dengue fever in Africa. Environmental degradation, including habitat loss and coral reef bleaching, threatens the sustainability of the tourism sector. Sustainable tourism practices and climate resilience strategies are needed to safeguard Africa's tourism industry.


As a result, if African leaders and societies work together to protect their benefits through legal means, both bilaterally and collectively, and defend their rights on a global stage, there is an opportunity to overcome this obstacle. However, if the current situation persists, it may become more difficult to achieve this goal.

 

Conclusion Remarks

The agenda for climate action primarily focuses on inclusiveness of the following areas: developing sound policies for adoption and resilience towards limiting fossil fuels and transforming renewable energy resources, building capacity, mobilizing global stocktake marketing strategies, promoting technology and innovation for climate financial architecture, encouraging education and youth participation, including gender-based action and effective activities, enhancing the integration of public and private sector through government operation, and taking cooperative actions towards land use and ocean utilization in a scientific manner, in light of achieving the SDGs.


In order to understand the effects of climate change in Africa, it is necessary to work together at the local, regional, and global levels. This involves implementing strong mitigation measures, investing in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure, and providing financial support for climate resilience and adaptation efforts. International cooperation and partnerships are crucial for mobilizing the stocktake market and the other necessary resources in order to ensuring a sustainable future for African countries and their nations.

 


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