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Africa: New research from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation highlights Africa’s precarious position in the climate debate

Dakar and London — The Facts & Figures Forum 2022, “The Road to COP27: Making Africa’s Case in the Climate Debate”, highlights the need for greater consideration of Africa’s specific position in the global debate on climate change.

Launched exactly six months before COP27 in Egypt, and immediately after COP15 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Côte d’Ivoire, the Facts & Figures Forum 2022 provides a comprehensive analysis of the challenges and prospects of the global climate crisis from Africa’s perspective.

Commenting on the data, Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “As the least industrialized continent, Africa has contributed the least to the global climate crisis, yet it is she who suffers the most. more of its consequences. With its immense ecological and mineral resources, Africa has the potential to be at the heart of a sustainable future for the continent and the world. As we now head towards COP27, hosted on the continent, it is vital that Africa’s unique position is better understood and taken into account. Leaving Africa out of the equation not only hampers effective climate action, but also threatens global development and security prospects.

Based on the latest data, the Facts & Figures Forum 2022 first explores in detail the specific impacts of the climate crisis in Africa and how it intersects with pre-existing social and development issues such as poverty, food insecurity, political instability and displacement. The findings point to the need for greater consideration of Africa-specific vulnerabilities in global climate solutions, if only to avoid failure in achieving the SDGs and Agenda 2063.

The report then analyzes the critical challenge of finding the right balance between climate protection and energy access for all on the continent with the largest energy deficit in the world. It highlights the obstacles that remain to be overcome to make the most of Africa’s renewable potential and the need to rethink the one-size-fits-all policies, excluding gas as a key fuel for the transition, adopted at COP26.

The research then highlights Africa’s continued resource potential, with the continent possessing all the key assets to accelerate the global transition to a green and sustainable economy. But for this potential to be harnessed effectively and efficiently, including in the best interests of African people, the continent will need to break the “natural resource curse” and focus on mobilizing financial resources, strengthening governance and management of natural resources. .

Key findings include:

  • Representing 3.3% of total global carbon emissions since 1960, Africa is the region of the world least responsible for climate change.
  • In 2020, Africa’s overall per capita carbon emissions were ten times lower than those of North America.
  • The impact of climate change is already hitting Africa hard.
  • Over the period 2010-2022, the number of people affected by droughts amounted to at least 172.3 million, and those affected by floods to at least 43.0 million.
  • The ten most climate-vulnerable countries in the world are in Africa.
  • These are home to 20.1% of the continent’s population.
  • Africa is the continent most vulnerable to climate change due to pre-existing development challenges that exacerbate climate impact and reduce resilience.
  • An additional 39.7 million people in sub-Saharan Africa could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030 due to climate change, more than any other region in the world.
  • Climate change is expected to push an additional 78 million people into chronic hunger by 2050, more than half of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Without climate action, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see the displacement and migration of up to 85.7 million people, or 4.2% of the continent’s population.
  • 600 million people in Africa currently lack access to electricity and over 930 million lack access to clean cooking fuels, making Africa the continent with the lowest energy access rates the lowest in the world.
  • At 455.2 trillion cubic feet in 2020, Africa’s natural gas reserves could go a long way towards meeting the continent’s growing energy demand.
  • 18 African countries are already gas producers.
  • Gas distribution remains a major challenge.
  • Gas represented less than 10% of the total energy supply of half of the continent’s gas producers.
  • 22 African countries already use renewable energy as their main source of electricity, but access to electricity remains limited in these countries.
  • At COP26, 39 countries and development institutions ended funding for all fossil fuels, including gas.
  • Africa is home to a quarter of the world’s mammal species, a fifth of the world’s bird species and at least a sixth of the world’s plant species.
  • Africa holds 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, many of which are essential for building green or low-carbon technologies, such as energy storage and solar panels, among others.
  • DR Congo is the world’s largest producer of cobalt, key for batteries and electric vehicles, and Africa holds around half of the world’s reserves.
  • $10 trillion in environmental, social and governance capital is looking for a return and at COP26 global financial institutions aligned portfolios worth $130 trillion to achieve zero emissions net.
  • Most climate-vulnerable African countries have governance deficits.

The Facts & Figures will feed the discussions of the Ibrahim Forum 2022 on Governance, which will take place virtually from Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 May on the platform. The full report of the Ibrahim Forum will be published after the Forum debates, to include the main conclusions and recommendations of the Forum discussions.