Only the most rigid implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement will help the continent.
Defending African interests at the climate summit
When French foreign minister Laurent Fabius brought the gavel down on December's historic Paris Climate Agreement, delegates embraced in the aisles, danced with their jubilant colleagues and celebrated long into the night.
As the UN's Climate Change Conference returns to Africa for the first time in five years--Cop22 takes place in Marrakech from 7th to 18th November--the continent's negotiators are adopting a tone of hardheaded realism and steeling themselves for the vital task of implementing the agreement. The necessity for action remains as urgent as ever.
By 2020, between 75m and 250m people in Africa could be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change, while the continent's arid and semi-arid land could expand by up to 8% by 2080.
While Africa welcomed the Paris Agreement as a critical step forward, only the most rigid implementation is likely to help the continent stave off the worst effects of climate change.
"Our approach towards Cop22 is one of making sure that the Paris Agreement signed last year is enacted, and Africa's interests are very much on the front burner," says Kwame Ababio, programme officer for climate change at the African Union's New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) agency.
"That means issues of adaptation which the African leadership have consistently mentioned should be discussed at the highest level," he says.
The issue of adaptation finance--the vast sums required to help Africa and other developing regions prepare for the effects of climate change--has long been a sticking point in global talks. Previous pledges of $ioobn per year by 2020--later estimated by the...