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AFRICA’S STAKE IN THE GLOBAL DEAL

Feb 11 '16 | By La Afrique Media | Views: 92 | Comments: 0

Sub-Saharan Africa has a great deal at stake in international cooperation on climate. Impressive human development gains are taking place, but acute climate risks could reverse these in the second half of the 21st century. Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change because of its dependence of agriculture rainfall, its high levels of background poverty and the combined impact of higher food prices and lower yields.

Viewed from the other end of the telescope, Africa is part of the climate opportunity. Climate change has given an added urgency to policies that should be introduced irrespective of the climate threat. African governments should be doing far more to develop the resilient agricultural systems needed to manage climate risk, raise productivity and strengthen food security.

This backdrop has important implications for how African governments approach the climate negotiations. Given that land use dominates the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, there is a concern that activities aimed at reducing or mitigating emissions might hurt rural populations. Similarly, with power generation producing modest greenhouse gas emissions, there is a view that Africa has much to lose from any commitments to mitigate while the world has little to gain.

These are misperceptions. In agriculture and land use, triple wins are available for agricultural productivity, climate resilience and climate mitigation. In power generation, too, there are triple-win scenarios. Renewable technologies can create opportunities for increased productivity, greater resilience and long-term carbon mitigation.

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