The reality of climate change and Africa’s development agenda

Studies affirm that developing countries will be hardest it by the dynamics of climate change given that they have to contend with extreme poverty levels and waning levels of economic growth. Climate variability will impact on water resources, land, forests and ecosystems, all of which will threaten livelihoods and food security. In developing countries the effects of climate change will manifest as increased and deeper exposure to vulnerabilities, with the previously attained development gains being compromised. Together these factors will impact on the achievement of the MDGs. Although Africa contributes negligibly to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, it will be worst affected due to its geographical location, its dependence on climate-sensitive resources and its overall inherent limitations financially, institutionally and human resource wise. Although most of Africa will feel the adversity that climate change will engender, certain African countries are at greater risk than others given their vulnerability and their subdued development credentials. We use a number of proxy variables as indicators of countries sliding further down the development stakes due to increased risk from climate change expounded as decreases in income or economic growth or increased expenditure on food that will siphon off development funds. The paper will look at the impact of climate change in developing countries and in Africa as a whole, with an analysis of why certain African countries will be worse off from the after-effects of climate change. Lastly, policy options will be briefly touched on.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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