21 September 2012

Emmanuel Seck

If no action is taken, farmers in parts of Africa could face a decline in crop yields by more than 50% from this or future generations. Global food prices could more than double by 2030 and climate change is half responsible. According to scientists, the curve of global GHG emissions must be reversed before 2015, and, while the leaders agreed to a global pact for 2020, this means ten years are lost in the fight against climate change.

According to these same scientists,  the world is currently on a trajectory of warming above 3° C with the serious potential consequences – most severely felt in South Asia and West Africa. West Africa is a region constituted by a large number of Sahelian countries that are vulnerable to climate change, at least 13 of whom are a part of the Least Developed Countries. The economy of this region, which is essentially agricultural, is negatively impacted by drought and desertification; this establishes a serious handicap for the population’s development and livelihood.

The impression in the region is threefold: the expectation of a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, the setting of ambitious targets of GHGs emission reduction for Developed countries and the result of a Global Agreement for 2020. The question often raised is: how should the gap be filled from 2012 to 2020, knowing the serious potential consequences increased temperatures could have for West Africa? Official creation of the Green Climate Fund is a step in the right direction, despite concerns on how this fund will be fed and the financial gap between the “Fast Start” and the “100 billion USD per year by 2020”.

The 14th Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment will be hosted by the Government of Tanzania from 10-14 September 2012. This meeting will provide an opportunity for the Ministers to develop a common approach to engage with the international community in the climate change negotiation process, especially in preparation for the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 18), to take place in late 2012.


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