Africa’s influence in climate change negotiations is weak!! Insights from new research
Joanes Atela, Claire Quinn, Albert Arhin, Lalisa Duguma and Kennedy Mbeva
Africa is mentioned in almost every climate change research and policy as the most vulnerable, the most exposed and the most affected continent by climate change. Global solutions being proposed to tackle climate change whether though adaptation, mitigation, capacity building, financial support are strongly justified around addressing Africa’s vulnerabilities such as hunger, disasters and diseases among others. Because these solutions are expected to work within existing socioeconomic and policy circumstances of African countries, recognising the role of Africa in informing the solutions is very important. A recently published paper on the Journal of International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Economics and Law, provides some interesting insights into how Africa contributes to the development of climate change policies at the global level and associated implications on implementing proposed solutions within Africa. The article applies the case of the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) which is emerging as a key global policy to mitigate climate change. The article was authored by researchers drawn from the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins of the World Agroforestry Centre and the Department of Geography at Cambridge University.
From policy to implementation discourse: Transformations required to achieve clean and sustainable energy in Africa
Dr. Joanes Atela, ACTS
This week from 23rd-27th May, 2016, delegates drawn from across the world are gathered at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi to participate in the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) to deliberate on the overarching theme ‘ ‘Delivering on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’’. I was privileged to speak as a panelist on one of the side events entitled, “Sustainable Energy and Technology”. The event was co-organized by UNEP and ACTS, and drew over 150 participants. I was asked to speak about the required institutional transformations needed to move to a low carbon economy, and the role that African policy and research institutions can and should play in promoting a low-carbon transition. Despite the strong policy discourse perpetuated by the international community on the need for clean and sustainable energy for all, Africa has not achieved meaningful transformation to clean and sustainable energy, as evidenced by the continent’s dismal performance in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), compared to other developing regions.