Mithika Mwenda, Secretary General of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), believes that Africa’s climate action pledges show commitment to a fair and binding deal in Paris
As of October 1, 47 out of 54 African countries have submitted their national plans for the UN climate deal, or Intended nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs.) Africa’s vast and environmentally diverse landscape and coastal areas mean that each of its country’s climate action plans vary widely and can include comprehensive emission reduction plans, sectoral targets, policy frameworks, regulations and other tools such as carbon markets, subsidies and incentives.
South Africa’s proposes that its emissions will peak by 2025, plateau until 2035 and thereafter decline. Morocco, for example, has proposed an increase of solar power to a 14% share in its electricity generation capacity by 2020. Among their climate action pledges, African countries have made some bold and strong targets, showing their fierce commitment to reducing global emissions. Ethiopia, one of the first African countries to submit has pledged: a 64% reduction on business as usual emissions by 2030. And Comoros has made the most ambitious target of an 84% reduction in emissions by 2030. Such bold commitments show that Africa’s potential to reduce emissions is great, even though it has contributed the least to building these levels in the first place.
With Africa bearing the brunt of climate change impacts, adaptation has been given as much focus as mitigation in countries’ targets. Adaptation is crucial to protecting and promoting development gains, especially in Africa.
One thing is for sure, and seen in common throughout all of Africa’s climate action plans: all pledges are premised on getting the means of implementation and adequate resources from developed nations. Not just in terms of finance, but in technology transfer and enhancing the capacity of African nations to meet their climate pledges.
Whatever policy measures we put in place cannot be at Africa’s cost alone. It’s affecting the whole world, everyone is affected, and we all have to chip in. Civil society in the north must start to unite and put pressure on their governments to commit to a fair and just agreement for the world, not just for Africa.
African civil society will be holding their governments to account on committing new resources from national budgets for investment to help people adapt and build climate resilience. As well as getting the necessary contributions from other countries, strong leadership and coordination amongst responsible agencies is imperative to guarantee their effective implementation and to achieve the intended levels of ambition.
It’s certainly a huge step in the right direction that so many African countries have taken affirmative action to contribute to this landmark global deal and have shown their commitment to climate action. These action plans should empower and support our people to build their resilience to the devastating impacts of climate change. The INDCs are an important part of an ongoing process.
World leaders must deliver strong commitments to close the funding gap and help Africa adapt to the devastating effects of climate change. They should ensure that Paris delivers a fair, ambitious and binding deal at a level adequate to stop climate change and keep global warming well-below 1.5°C.
Yet with two months to go until countries aim to strike a global climate pact in Paris, collective commitments do not meet the internationally agreed limit of 2C. Governments will need to focus on revising their goals from 2025 onwards to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change worsening still.
Paris starts things, it’s not an endpoint. Heads of state need to work together to see firm and equitable policies implemented as we move towards 2020 and beyond. We’re talking about saving lives here. The world has a unique opportunity to collectively turn one of the biggest challenges facing humankind into one of the greatest opportunities to build a healthy planet.”
Africa’s climate pledges are as follows:
1/10 – Botswana: 10% emissions cut by 2030, from a 2010 baseline. Cost estimate US$18.4 billion.
1/10 – Cameroon: Cut emissions up to 32% by 2035 on business as usual, depending on international support.
1/10 – Sierra Leone: Pledges to keep emissions “relatively low” (close to 7.58MtCO2e) by 2035, or achieve neutrality by 2050, conditional upon international support.
1/10 – Guinea: A 13% reduction on emissions by 2030, compared to 1994 levels, excluding land use and forestry, conditional upon international support.
30/9 – Togo: Emissions cuts of 11% from business as usual by 2030, rising to 31% with international support. Price tag US$3.5 billion.
30/9 – Lesotho: An unconditional 10% reduction in emissions compared to a business-as-usual scenario by 2030, or a conditional reduction of 35% by 2030, dependent on international support.
30/9 – Mozambique: Estimated emissions cuts of 76.5 MtCO2eq over 2020-30, from business as usual
30/9 – Liberia: Emissions cuts of 15% from business as usual by 2030, subject to international support.
30/9 – Rwanda: Target still under development. US$24 billion price tag for water, energy and agriculture measures.
30/9 – Malawi: Mix of policies could cut per capita use from 1.4t CO2e in 2010 to 0.7-0.8t in 2030, if fully implemented, compared to increase to 1.5t under business as usual.
30/9 – Zimbabwe: Plans to keep per-capita emissions from energy sector 33% below business as usual by 2030, provided there is sufficient support.
30/9 – Burundi: Aims to cut greenhouse gases 3% below business as usual by 2030, rising to 20% on international support.
30/9 – Sao Tome and Principe: Cut emissions 24% by 2030 on 2005 levels. Country is a net carbon sink.
30/9 – Guinea Bissau: Aims to boost renewables’ share of the energy mix to 80% by 2030 and develop a national reforestation programme by 2025. Section on adaptation includes to increase protected area coverage from 15 to 26%.
29/9 – Congo: Cut emissions by 48% by 2025 and 55% in 2035 below business as usual levels.
29/9 – Tanzania: cut emissions by 10-20% below business as usual by 2030.
29/9 – Zambia: Emissions cuts of 25% from business as usual by 2030 with domestic resources, costed at US$15 billion, increasing to 47% with an estimated $35bn of international support.
29/9 – Namibia: An 89% cut to greenhouse gas emissions from business as usual by 2030, mainly through reducing deforestation. Price tag: US$33 billion.
29/9 – Swaziland: Aims to double the renewable share of its energy mix by 2030, compared to 2010 levels. Also pledges to develop a national emissions inventory, baseline and business as usual projections, in order to draw up a national mitigation goal by 2020.
29/9 – Mauritania: 22.3% emissions cuts by 2030 below business as usual, of which five-sixths hinges on international support. Total cost for mitigation and adaptation estimated at US$17.6 billion.
29/9 – Cote d’Ivoire: 28% emissions cut below 2012 levels by 2030.
29/9 – Cape Verde: Will specify GHG cuts from energy sector in second half of 2016, sets targets to achieve 100% grid access by 2017. Renewable energy penetration to rise to 3o% by 2025, or up to 100% on international finance.
29/9 – Niger: Commits to cut GHGs 3.5% below business as usual by 2030, rising to 34.6% with international support
29/9 – Benin: Aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions 3.5% below business as usual levels by 2030, rising to 21.4% with international support. Budget to meet mitigation and adaptation goals is US$ 30 billion, $2.32 billion of which Benin will provide.
28/9 – Mali: Cut emissions from agriculture 29%, energy sector 31%, land-use change 21% below business-as-usual by 2030.
28/9 – Chad: Cut emissions by 18.2% below business as usual by 2030, rising to 71% on international support
28/9 – Mauritius: 30% emissions cut by 2030 compared to business as usual, subject to international support.
28/9 – Central African Republic: Reduce emissions 5% on business as usual levels by 2030. Total cost of $3.69 billion; $3.46 relies on international cash.
28/9 – Burkina Faso: An unconditional pledge to reduce emissions by 6.6% below business-as-usual levels by 2030, with a further 11.6% reduction conditional upon international support. Includes interim pledges for 2020 and 2025.
28/9 – Gambia: A 44% emissions cut by 2025, compared to business as usual projections, and a 45% cut by 2030.
26/9 – Senegal: GHG cuts of 6% by 2030 from business as usual, rising to 31% on international finance. Cost of plan comes to $21.5 billion.
25/9 – South Africa: Aims to ‘peak, plateau and decline’ emissions by 2030, requires $53 billion for adaptation to climate impacts.
25/9 – Seychelles: Will slash emissions 29% on a business as usual basis by 2030, costing an estimated $309 million
24/9 – Madagascar: 14% cuts on business as usual by 2030.
24/9 – Eritrea: An 80.6% reduction in emissions by 2030, compared to business-as-usual levels. 39.2% of this is unconditional, and can be financed using domestic resources.
23/9 – Ghana: 15% emission cuts on business as usual by 2030.
21/9 – Equatorial Guinea: Cut emissions by 20% by 2030 compared with 2010 levels.
17/9 – Comoros: 84% cut in GHG emissions by 2030 on business-as-usual.
16/9 – Tunisia: 13% cut in carbon intensity by 2030 from 2010 levels, rising to 41% with international cash
4/9 – Algeria: 7% unconditional cut to greenhouse gas emissions from business as usual by 2030, rising to 22% with international support
18/8 – Democratic Republic of Congo: 17% GHG cuts by 2030 on 2000 levels, covering agriculture and forests, conditional on $21 billion of support.
14/8 – Djibouti: Cut emissions 40% from business as usual by 2030 using domestic resources, or another 20% with international support. Take measures to adapt to increasing risk of water scarcity.
24/7 – Kenya: 30% greenhouse gas emissions cut from business as usual by 2030; “significant priority” placed on adapting to climate impacts.
10/6 – Ethiopia: 64% greenhouse gas emissions cut by 2030 on business as usual.
6/06 – Morocco: 32% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 on business as usual.
1/4 – Gabon: 50% greenhouse gas cuts by 2025 compared to business as usual. The INDC also includes plans for a national carbon market and a domestic green fund.
PACJA is a continental coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) from diverse backgrounds in Africa that aims at unifying and coordinating isolated civil society efforts on climate change advocacy in Africa, so as to ensure that pro-poor and people-centred response measures are given attention as governments in Africa seek to mainstream climate change into national poverty reduction and sustainable development strategies and actions.