Par Arnaud Rouget, Directeur du programme Afrique de l’Agence Internationale de l’Énergie
La pandémie a eu de lourdes conséquences sur le développement énergétique de l’Afrique. Alors que, depuis 2013, le nombre de personnes ayant accès à l’électricité augmentait – mettant ainsi le continent sur la bonne voie pour atteindre l’objectif de développement durable n°7 (« Énergie propre et d’un coût abordable ») d’ici 2030 – ce progrès s’est inversé pour la première fois en 2020. Ainsi, aujourd’hui, 600 millions d’Africains vivent sans accès à l’électricité.
By Paul Akiwumi, Director for Africa and Least Developed Countries, UNCTAD
Small island developing states (SIDS) are the most economically vulnerable of all groups of developing countries, according to the Economic Vulnerability Index. They are particularly vulnerable to natural, economic and health-related shocks beyond domestic control. The growing frequency and intensity of these climate shocks is a direct consequence of being in climate-sensitive areas or seismic zones, as well as the islands’ smallness. From commodities to manufactured spare parts, these states also rely heavily on imports of food and fuel, leaving them at the mercy of price spikes and shortages of essential goods.
By Nneka Henry, Head of the UN Road Safety Fund and Jane Burston, Executive Director of the Clean Air Fund
As economies around the world have developed, rapid industrialisation and urbanisation have often been accompanied by rapid motorisation. These trends are set to continue as developing countries continue to industrialise and car ownership grows. The management and regulation of road safety and air pollution are failing to keep up.
By Dr. Harry Verhoeven, Senior Research Scholar at the Centre on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University
Discussions about climate are, always, discussions about distribution- of costs, benefits and sacrifices. For years now, the grand bargain required to ward off the existential threat of human-induced global warming has been clear. Rich, developed economies need to swiftly and comprehensively decarbonise their energy and industrial systems in ways that both mitigate the intensity of climatic changes and that enable the planet’s poorest societies to follow a cleaner, more equitable growth trajectory. Doing so would generate time, resources and appropriate technologies for those currently marginalised in the global economy to respond more effectively to climatic upheaval. Understood as such, combating climatic changes should also help address those other mega-problems challenging 21st century civilisation: multidimensional poverty; yawning inequalities between and within countries; and the structural exclusion of hundreds of millions of people from access to public goods to which they are ethically and legally entitled.
By José Antonio Ocampo, Professor at Columbia University and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Finance to the G20
Climate change has become an existential threat to humanity. The world has failed to adopt the decisions needed to meet the Paris Agreement targets, restated at COP26 in Glasgow last year, to keep the rise in average global temperature to under 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels and well below 2oC. As the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates, current national commitments are still insufficient: CO2 emissions need to fall by around 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels and global emissions need to peak before 2025.
By Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Independent University Bangladesh
I have written about the need to ramp up adaptation in order to avoid the worst impacts of human-induced climate change around the world, as lead author on adaptation for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for over a decade. So the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC containing that message was nothing new.
While the private sector across the world is on a journey towards greening their activities, COP26 marked a milestone so significant that it was termed the Business and Finance COP. In other words, COP26 made ‘climate action mainstream business’. But what challenges and opportunities does this newfound interest present for Africa?