Withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement: What’s next for Africa
One of the prominent differences between the US president and his Democratic counterpart during the elections campaign was on issues of Climate Change. While Hillary believed in Climate Change as a human caused reality, Trump does not believe Climate Change is a human caused reality that the world should be concerned about. Climate Change did not feature as one of the agendas in his campaign manifesto and thus the statement he made on the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement of 2015 was not a real surprise to the world. What needs to be the greatest concern right now is the effects the withdrawal of the US is likely to have on the Paris Agreement which over 200 countries in the world committed to in 2015.
One of the effects of this withdrawal will be on the Climate Fund. Under the adaptation provision, developed countries made a commitment to mobilize $100 billion every year in climate finance by 2025. This were funds that were to be channeled towards the adaptation and mitigation of Climate Change. The US had agreed to contribute $3 billion to Global Climate Fund and so far, it has paid $1 billion. Its withdrawal has therefore placed fear to African countries since they contribute about two percent of the annual greenhouse gases emissions and they experience the negative impacts of climate change the most.
According to Intergovernmental panel on climate change, African temperatures are expected to increase at faster rate with more devastating impacts from climate change. With business as-usual climate change, agricultural yields which majority of African countries are dependent on for example Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Ghana is projected to reduce by 30% while in other countries the sector can be lost completely by 2100.
The US withdrawal from the COP21 accord should serve as a wakeup call for African countries, to look into alternative sources of funding for averting the effects of climate change. Africa also needs to invest in climate change solutions by looking at including climate change as one of the main issues in their development agendas.
It would be important to note that Kenya has been making effort in including Climate Change as one of its main development agenda. Climate Change has been included as one of the cross cutting issues in the development of the Medium Term Plan 3, which KCIC has been playing a major role in ensuring climate change issues are mainstreamed.