How the Continent Can Chart a Low Emissions, High Growth Path
The FTI Growth Emissions Matrix: charting a low CO2 emissions growth path for Africa. Around the world, the urgency of mitigating climate change is growing, with an increasing focus on lowering CO2 emissions and reducing the impact of development on the environment. Nowhere is this more critical than in Africa, which has one of the world’s fastest growing populations, high levels of poverty, inequality and will be disproportionately impacted by climate events including cyclones and drought1. The recent tropical cyclone Idai brought winds and flooding which killed thousands of people, impacted millions of people and damaged infrastructure across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
The continent is home to 86 of the world’s 100 fastest growing cities, 79 (representing 48% of the Africa’s GDP) of which are classified as being at “extreme risk” of climate change. Given the strong correlation between energy usage and economic growth, this set of circumstances poses a challenge for African governments, businesses and communities. How can energy access and usage be accelerated to support economic growth, without increasing CO2 emissions and increasing the climate change risks already facing the region?
Almost all African countries have now ratified the Paris Agreement in an attempt to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Under the Agreement every country has submitted a national climate plan that sets out how they will address climate change and what they will do if increased financing is available.
It is expected that these plans will be updated every five years, gradually becoming more ambitious. These plans and the overall agreement have been developed so that wealthier countries (who have so far contributed the most to emissions and climate impacts) must make the greatest financial contributions, allocating funds to climate mitigation in developing countries to supplement their own contributions.