Climate change is a critical issue for Africa, as it has the potential to undermine economic growth, exacerbate poverty, and increase social and political instability. The impacts of climate change are already being felt across the continent and include reduced agricultural productivity, increased water scarcity, and greater frequency of extreme weather events.
Addressing the challenges posed by climate change is essential to ensure the long-term sustainable development of African countries, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require both adaptation measures and action. Africa as a continent is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including rising temperatures, sea level rise, and more severe weather events. According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021, five African countries ranked among the ten countries most affected by extreme weather in 2019: Mozambique (first), Zimbabwe (second), Malawi (fifth), South Sudan (eighth), and Niger (ninth).
Addressing climate change in Africa is paramount to mitigate its negative impacts and can also offer opportunities for economic growth and sustainable development. Africa has three strengths it can rely on to capture these opportunities: (i) its demographics; (ii) its immense mitigation potential due to its vast land mass, forests, agricultural systems, and oceans; and (iii) its unrivalled potential to produce renewable energy—especially solar—for its own development and for export purposes.
Report by the African Development Bank