07 Dec 2015
UNDP is helping Rwanda boost resilience to disasters and the effects of climate change. Photo: UNDP Rwanda.
The international community is currently mobilized around the ongoing 21stConference of Parties (COP 21) taking place from 30 November to 11 December in Paris, France, and where delegates from around the world are expected to agree on a global plan to tackle climate change. This is a critical moment for the world in general, and Africa in particular.
Africa is especially vulnerable to the effects of anthropogenic climate change even though its contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is negligible when compared to that of industrialized regions.
With two-thirds of working Africans making a living off the land, erratic and extreme weather patterns resulting in floods and drought affect food security as well as economic activity. Models indicate climate change could cause annual losses that amount to 1.5-3 percent of GDP by 2030.
The recently-released 2015 Africa Adaptation Gap Report estimates that Africa’s costs for adapting to climate change will run to USD $7-15 billion per year by 2020. In the scenario that the global temperature rise is kept below 2°C, this figure could rise to $50 billion per year by 2050. Beyond 2°C, the cost of adaptation could reach a staggering $100 billion per year.
As such, the African …