Africa's water resources, biodiversity, forests, agricultural systems and the health of its people face immense pressures from current and future climate change. The authors of this paper argue that Africa is poorly equipped to adapt and therefore the international commitment to support African nations in coping with climate change is justified. The authors review the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol agreement and examine how the G8 group of industrial nations and the European Union are working together to promote international action to tackle climate change. The authors note that the commitments made have not been delivered so far - a limited number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects have been implemented and the funds set up to support adaptation activities in developing countries are yet to become operational. The paper also highlights that the current Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds have stalled at only a fraction of poor countries’ estimated investment needs.
The authors assert that with the international community lagging behind their own scheduled pledges, Africa’s situation in the face of ongoing climate change and socio-economic challenges is becoming increasingly urgent. In order to move forward with climate change adaptation, the authors recommend the following:
the international community must swiftly follow through the commitments made by defining clear outcomes and timetables and making practical arrangements for monitoring deliveriespledges need to be met to climate-proof Africa
international commitments on funding climate related activities in Africa must be delivered
developing new, binding and predictable international financial mechanisms is key
Africa needs to play a bigger part in the CDM and other flexible mechanisms
new strategies for adaptation coupled with strong international political will in climate change mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology transfer is imperative