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Climate Change ‘Opportunities’ in East Africa

Climate Change ‘Opportunities’ in East Africa

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Climate Change ‘Opportunities’ in East Africa

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  1. Climate Change ‘Opportunities’ in East Africa Hareg, Feb 20,2014

  2. Climate Change and East Africa • Climate change in Africa is not just a sustainability issue but a socio-economic problem that must be dealt with globally. • Climate impacts are weakening the economies of already poor countries with sea-level rise ,extreme weather conditions and threats to water availability affecting both inland and coastal regions. • Because of the lack of economic development, and institutional capacity, African countries are likely among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (IPCC, 2001). • In the era of climate change Eastern Africa is unique in that • It is one of the most conflict-raven areas in the world • Experienced a population explosion of +74% between 1988-2008 (largest in the world) and it is feared the number could double by 2050(IFPRI report, 2013) indicating the need for more food. • The area is characterized by diverse climate ranging from desert to forest over relatively small area • It comprised of very poor nations with limited resources at the disposal of the governments which would naturally be diverted to poverty eradication and wealth creation, as opposed to addressing climate change

  3. East Africa Profile: Politically unstable Ethiopia & Eritrea: territorial dispute over Badme region(1998-?) Within South : Darfur conflict (2003-?) Somalia: no government until 2013, al-shabaab threat (to date) South Sudan & Sudan: Conflict over oil rich Abye region (2011-?) South Sudan: Conflict between government and rebels(2013-?) Kenya: al-shabaab threat (2013-?)

  4. East Africa Profile: Past Climate Disasters 2011 Drought (most recent): Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)report ‘Extremely poor rains from October to December have led to substantial harvest failure, a decrease in water availability, deteriorating pasture conditions and livestock losses in a situation exacerbated by conflict, lack of access, high food prices and human and livestock diseases’1 2007, 2009 Droughts David Orr of the UN World Food Program: ‘It is extremely alarming that the incidents of drought seem to be occurring more and more regularly. There was a gap. The general view was that extreme weather events were occurring every 11 years. Then it came down to five or six years. But the last drought in this region occurred in 2007 and 2009. So they do seem to be happening with increasing regularity, undoubtedly as a result of climate change.’2

  5. East Africa Profile: Past Climate Disasters 2002 Flood: Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda3 2007 Flood: Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia and Kenya 4 2012 Flood: Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan ,Ethiopia5 Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) El Niño special report, “In East Africa, El Niño events typically lead to wetter-than-normal conditions for the October-to-December rains in the Greater Horn of Africa region.”6

  6. Future Projection: Wet/Dry? Chris Funk from the U.S. Geologic Survey ‘Drier conditions in East Africa will continue because of climate change’ ‘…[the warming] has triggered more rainfall over the central Indian Ocean. And that rainfall basically pulls in moisture from the surrounding area and prevents it from going onshore into Africa.’ 7 Waithaka, M.; Nelson, G.C.; Thomas, T.S.; Kyotalimye, M. , International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ‘.. temperatures in East Africa are likely to increase by between 1.3 degrees and 2.1 degrees Celsius by 2050’8

  7. Future Projection: Wet/Dry? The 2007 IPCC fourth assessment report summary of model projections of projected rainfall shows nearly 20 models projecting higher rainfall over East Africa in most months9. Figure 1 . Temperature and precipitation changes over Africa from the MMD-A1B simulations. Top row: Annual mean, DJF and JJA temperature change between 1980 to 1999 and 2080 to 2099, averaged over 21 models. Middle row: same as top, but for fractional change in precipitation. Bottom row: number of models out of 21 that project increases in precipitation. Source: IPCC fourth assessment report

  8. Uncertainty in the Science? • While East Africa is not new to drought, the occurrence of floods is something that has been happening frequently in the recent decade. • Climate models and scientist could not reach a consensus regarding whether the climate in East Africa would be hotter and drier or if precipitation is going to increase in the near future. • Both the fourth and fifth IPCC reports and the climate models that accompany them project higher precipitation for most parts of Eastern Africa while different academic researches predict drier conditions. • No one understands why the climate models are showing discrepant findings regarding the anticipated rainfall dynamics although some suspect geographic conditions such as altitude, proximity to Indian ocean… play some role. • too soon ? • Area not given much attention in terms of research? • too uncertain! • Regardless of the opinions of scientist or the politics behind it, a warmer world is being felt globally!

  9. Potential Impacts from Climate Change The erratic and violent nature of recent weather systems is endangering an ecosystem that is already depleted As the region looks at the highest increase in population, food security is being threatened Poor and marginalized groups, who are the majority, still depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and have lower capacities to adapt becoming more desperate ,threatening their very survival, pulling them deeper into poverty. Human and livestock diseases which are already prevalent can spread and get worse Lack of capacity and finance can worsen water management The severity of extreme weather events have the potential to damage their already poor economies and physical infrastructure to the point of non-rebounding Changes in rainfall seasonality affects agricultural yields as most of the farming done is basic and rain-fed Sea level rise endangers the unique biodiversity found at the horn of Africa and the livelihood of people that depend on them

  10. The Carbon Map CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is mostly blamed for climate change and hence cutting emissions especially from the use of fossil fuels is put forward as the first and most important step towards mitigating climate change. But Africa’s CO2 emission contribution especially from fossil fuel is so little one might ask why Africans are so vulnerable and paying for other’s irresponsibility. Figure 2: The Carbon Map Country sizes show CO2 emissions from energy use 1850–2007. Europe and the US dominate, having released around half the CO2 ever emitted. Photograph: Kiln Project, Source: the Guardian NORTH AMERICA EUROPE ASIA AFRICA LATIN AMERICA AUSTRALIA

  11. Justification for doing ‘something’? • With the lowest overall and per capita global warming emissions on the planet, all climate projections still indicate Africa is most likely to suffer from some of the worst and the hardest consequences of climate change. • In addition, African countries are witnessing high urbanization rates and relatively faster economic growths which may not be considered ‘green’ especially in resource use and the energy sector • Even if developed countries cut their emissions to zero and population in the developing world rises to around 7 billion in 2030 there is a (50-50 chance) of limiting global warming to 2◦C (UN World Population Prospects, 2010 Revision) • Justification for building a climate resilient community to adapt to and mitigate climate change in the region! Figure 3 Illustrating that developing country emissions could be as high as 37-38 billion tonnes CO2e in 2030 (around 70 %of global CO2e emissions) and emissions for a 2°C path (50-50 chance) need to be well below 35 billion tonnes CO2e, probably around 32-33. Strong action on emissions will be required from developing countries, even if rich countries reduce their emissions to zero by 2030. Source: Stern, 201210, Lionel Robbins Lectures

  12. Key regional issues Eastern African Community Climate Change Master plan (2011-2013)11 document identifies the following 9 issues as ‘priority’ areas when addressing climate change in the region 1. Agriculture (crops, livestock and fisheries) and Food Security 2. Water Security 3. Energy Security 4. Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services 5. Tourism (since it is one of the main foreign exchange earners for the region) 6. Physical Infrastructure 7. Human Health, Sanitation and Settlements 8. Trade and Industry (though they affected indirectly by climate change) 9. Education, Science and Technology

  13. Way Forward The ‘key pillars’ in order to have climate resilient economies, ecosystems and communities in eastern Africa identified in the Eastern African Community Climate Change Master plan (2011-2013)11 document are 1.Adaptation Interventions: crucial because climate change will occur regardless of future GHG reduction measures. 2. Mitigation Interventions: there are additional benefits from development of renewable energy resources 3. Research, Technology Development and Transfer: crucial for the understanding climate change cause, manifestation and impact so that appropriate responses in terms of policy, technology and innovation are met. 4. Capacity Building: to respond to climate change 5.Education, Training and Public Awareness: relatively new concept in the general public domain

  14. Way Forward….(cont.) 6. Gender, Youth and Marginalized Groups : Women and girls in rural areas have big roles and the major responsibility for household water supply ,energy for cooking and heating, as well as for food security lies on them and thus are negatively affected by drought, uncertain rainfall and deforestation. 7. Climate Risk Management and Disaster Risk Reduction : ways and means of minimizing disaster risks by reducing the degree of vulnerability and increasing resilience capacity of the communities • Climate Finance : additional financial resources to implement proposed actions - Dedicated Climate Funding from Bilateral and Multilateral Sources (external) • The Partner States’ National Budgets • Private Sector Finance and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) • Funding from Carbon Markets • EAC Climate Change Fund : Whose main purpose is to enhance the region’s capacity to mobilize existing, new and additional climate change funds from both international and domestic sources,

  15. Climate change Opportunities in East Africa • With priority areas identified , adaptation and mitigation actions prioritized, the following are areas of opportunities to explore in the midst of climate change; • Renewable energy: path to green economy • - the great east African valley is untapped resource with the largest geothermal potential covering all countries in the region • 12 hours of sun (all year round) for generating solar power • 2. Investment opportunities with better technologies • - that help solve climate change • that produce more food and water • are efficient in terms of resource use • 3. Integration of dry land into arable land with wetter climate forecast for the region: improving agricultural productivity • Introduction of variety of crops (with better yield) suited to the forecasted climate dynamics • The Carbon market • Structural transformation of economies and not mere growth of GDP

  16. Last word.. ‘’Why should we think of introducing green technologies which could be more expensive than the alternatives? Why shouldn’t we simply concentrate on growth and transformation and leave the green thing to those who created the problem in the first instance and who can afford to embark on a new and largely untried course? I can think of three good reasons… Given the fact that agriculture is the main stay of our economies, embarking on a green path of agricultural development will of necessity mean that green development becomes a pillar of our overall goal of economic transformation 2… why we can and should embark on green development as part of our structural economic transformation is because we are richly endowed with green and renewable sources of energy.  3. Structural economic transformation in Africa will require that we catch up technologically with the most advanced nations.  If the future is in green technologies our strategy for catch up cannot be based on technologies that will be out of use by the time we catch up. ’’ (Excerpts from a key note speech delivered to the 6th African Economic Conference by the late Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Mr. MelesZenawi, on “Green Economy and Structural Transformation in Africa— 25/10/11) Source: UNEP

  17. References 1 OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) (10 June 2011). "Eastern Africa Drought Humanitarian Report No. 3". 2Famine, Climate Change, and the Horn of Africa – part I by Josh Busby on 2011-08-01 , 3 news article,  JEFF OTIENO and CHRISTINE MUNGAI 4Eastern Africa: worst floods in decades, Published: 18 October 2007, 5 news article, 6 climate dynamics, journal, Dec 2011,, volume 37, issue 11-12, 8 East African Agriculture and Climate Change. A Comprehensive Analysis, Waithaka, M.; Nelson, G.C.; Thomas, T.S.; Kyotalimye, M, 2013 9 IPPC publication, 10 11Eastern African Community Climate Change Master plan (2011-2013) Other readings: Article, national adaptation planning, climate change in east Africa 2013, IPPC (2007) climate change 2007, the physical science basis ,IPCC secretariat , Switzerland WWF- World Wide Fund for Nature(2006) Climate change impacts on East Africa. A review of scientific literature. UNEP : perspectives on Rio+20