Paris Agreement: for African countries, a political impetus difficult to give

The African leaders who signed the Paris agreement remembered two things: their countries were for next to nothing in the current climate situation; industrialized states recognized their own historical responsibility and promised to help them.

100 billion dollars in the green fund for the climate

These industrialized States decided, in 2009, at COP15 in Copenhagen, to create a Green background for the climate. It was to reach in 2020, an annual envelope of 100 billion dollars (82.5 billion euros) to allow developing countries, especially Africa, to adapt to the consequences of climate change and to develop a clean economy.. “Although recent improvements have been noted, the gap between the needs identified and the funding available remains enormous”, underlines Mohamed Ali Mekouar, of the international center for comparative environmental law.

The OECD and the NGO Oxfam have joined forces to quantify the transfers of public and private funding for climate projects in southern countries at 10 billion dollars per year, i.e. one tenth of the expected amount.

For their part, African leaders have adapted their discourse and their administrations to the new challenge. It was necessary to define how to measure climate change, for example, by hydrometeorological observation equipment in Mali, to include this concern in the Constitution, as in Burkina Faso, which mentions “The absolute need to preserve the environment”, assess the additional cost of more sustainable development, with figures varying from $ 119 per capita per year in Sierra Leone to $ 4,000 in Mauritania.

“Solar electricity production is a very concrete dynamic”

Each country has built decision-making circuits, state institutions dedicated to this new fight, being helped, if necessary, by international funding to produce the action plans requested by the government. Green background. “Climate political governance can become a bureaucratic machine in some countries. But, at the same time, on the ground, there are important signs of change. This is the case with renewable energies ” notes the director general of Iddri, Sébastien Treyer. “The production of sustainable electricity, particularly solar, is a very concrete and operational dynamic. “

Photovoltaics allow decentralized production. An economy of scale has lowered equipment costs. The 600 million Africans who do not have access to electricity will go directly to clean energy. Another concrete challenge is to change cooking practices (clean cooking) to abandon the use of firewood which contributes in particular to deforestation.

African leaders are also realizing that it is a question of getting their economies out of oil and gas exploitation alone, to orient them towards the secondary and tertiary sectors. Sébastien Treyer notes that “Nigeria, for example, wants to diversify its economy beyond oil and agriculture. The country wants to develop an agri-food industry and job creation in IT in particular. “


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