Africa seeks to mitigate the consequences of climate change


Africa is disappointed that, despite promises made in recent years, it is not receiving enough funding from the North to mitigate the consequences of climate change which has been caused mainly by developed countries.

However, far from settling into complaint, it is looking for new international partners, both public and private, to deal with a devastating phenomenon. “Climate change fuels migration, political instability, conflict. It’s not a theory, it’s something very visible.explains Mohamed Atani, head of communications at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

For two days, September 14-15, African Ministers of the Environment held their annual meeting in Dakar (Senegal) with the aim, among other things, of establishing a unique position for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. (COP27) which will take place this year in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, next November.

There, the disappointment of African countries at the non-fulfilment of financial promises made by developed countries to mitigate the impacts of global warming and adapt to it was again underlined. In 2009, the North committed to disburse 86,000 million euros per year. But Africa is still waiting.


Africa does not receive enough funds

“Africa is not getting enough funding, we already know that. Hence the need to find new partners and new funding channels, in Africa and beyond, that are more innovative and flexible”Atani assures. On the horizon, from China to Turkey, but also banks, foundations, international organizations.

At the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Dakar, which was preceded by meetings of experts and civil society, the idea of ​​integrating the continent’s finance ministers into a platform dedicated to finding more resources to meet this challenge.

This summer, as has happened in recent years, torrential rains have hit many African cities. Hundreds of deaths in countries like Niger, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Chad, Sudan and also in South Africa in April bear witness to something experts have warned about: the behavior of rainfall is altered by rising global temperatures and rainfall patterns are becoming more erratic and extreme.

Combined with poorly adapted cities, the consequences are catastrophic. On the African Atlantic coast, the rising sea is devouring entire communities and in the Sahel, the advance of the desert is causing hunger and malnutrition and fueling migratory movements and conflicts. Cyclones in the Indian Ocean, famine in Madagascar, the invasion of locusts in the Horn of Africa… Global warming is spreading its tentacles across the entire continent.

climate impact

“The impact is there, we can see it, it’s not a theory. Heat waves, desertification, deforestation, rising sea levels. But it’s not just the environment, there’s a socio-economic aspect The problem must be seen as a whole and approached with new approaches. For example, waste management is a huge challenge, but at the same time it is an opportunity to create jobs. This is the spirit that we want to promote from the United Nations”Atani adds. Africa is only responsible for 3% of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, but it is one of the most affected continents.

During AMCEN, the 54 African Ministers of Environment emphasized mechanisms for financing actions that combine the two approaches, adaptation to climate change and job creation, in addition to adapting their claims to the economic earthquake caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. and that has exhausted the continent.

Biodiversity loss and pollution also focused part of the debates, with the aim of submitting proposals to the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP15), which will be held in Montreal (Canada) from December 5 to 17, 2022. Africa wants to have its own unified voice in all international forums on the subject.

Find solutions

“There is a huge sensitivity because the impact is huge and it is one of the main causes of phenomena such as migration, political instability or conflicts over resources. The Sahel is a clear example. The consequences are harsh, but inaction does not help. Climate change makes no difference between rich and poor, developed countries or not, heat waves are an example, we are all in the same boat. Of course, there are historical responsibilities, but dialogue and multilateralism are the only way out”says the spokesperson for the United Nations Environment Program in Africa. “The question is not to know who created the problem, but to find solutions. Otherwise, we’re not moving forward.”.


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