There will always be ‘solutions’ as long as there are ‘issues’. People have been forced to flee their homes due to failed crops, causing the destruction of forests, making them climate refugees. Rising sea levels are engulfing entire nations and cities.
Due to croplands being overrun by salt and the oceans growing more corrosive, nutrition is facing even more challenges.
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This is why it is important to find great public, governmental, scientific, and intellectual dedication in order to solve the issues brought on by climate change. In order to tackle climate change and its impacts in Africa, this article will focus on the strategies and programs required.
Speaking at the opening proceedings of the AU Summit and the African Partnership Forum/UN Economic Commission for Africa Special Session on Climate Change, Jean Ping, chairperson of the AUC, said “Africa suffers most from a problem that it has not created. Africa is already suffering from the severe effects of climate change; we all must urgently seek solutions.”
These solutions can be achieved via liable tools which are essential and permit progress to be made towards achieving the objectives for climate action.
Climate change is referred to as the long-term changes in typical weather patterns that include all climate system changes, including the causes of change, the changes themselves, and their impacts. It can also just refer to changes in the climate system that are caused by humans.
Its negative impacts on the African continents can never be overemphasized.
While the priority for many African countries is to increase the access to energy services and improve the economic welfare of their people, the effects of climate change has metamorphosed into droughts, famine, desertification, population displacement, high levels of poverty and starvation, dragging the welfare and economy of many African countries on the mud.
Nations all over the world especially the African continents displayed readiness to working together to combat climate change under the Paris Agreement adopted at COP21, which limits global temperature increases to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement, African nations set out ambitious goals for developing low-carbon economies and economies that are climate resilient.
At COP21, nearly all African nations pledged to strengthen climate action by lowering their greenhouse gas emissions and increasing resilience after signing and ratifying the Paris Agreement. It is therefore only wise that these decisions are supported with actions in order to save Africa.
Tools for making authentic headways towards climate action goals are as follows:
“It’s time to stop burning our planet, and start investing in the abundant renewable energy all around us.” – António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General.
Renewable energy is everywhere around us, cheaper, healthier, creates job and natural.
The sun, wind, water, waste, and heat from the Earth are all abundant sources of renewable energy that are renewed by nature.
In a quest to mitigate the worst effects of global warming, renewable energy is naturally at the top of the list of measures that can be used to combat climate change negative effects. This is due to the fact that renewable energy sources like solar and wind, releases little or no greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.
This tool is extremely important following the presence of more floods, extreme heat waves, coastal erosion, land degradation, and other climatic shocks affecting Africa and its people every year, it is only pertinent that its people voluntarily work towards defeating climate change and its impacts.
Innovative Volunteerism emerged as one of the most significant mindset change tool coalitions ever to drive Climate Action.
By motivating and guiding youth and the young at heart across the continent and around the world to retool their skills and apply them selflessly to turn their passion into profits in driving climate action as they turn challenges into opportunities.
Innovative Volunteerism encompasses the process of tapping into people’s passions and helping them turn those passions into profits while diverting the negative effect of climate change in the environment.
According to UNEP, “Indoor pollution has killed up to 700,000, mostly women and children across Africa while using unclean cooking of charcoal and smoky biomass.” But we have some youths who work with the informal sector and have developed a clean cooking solutions through waste recovery to fuel briquettes. African youths have also converted agricultural waste to fuel briquettes that prove socially, economically, and environmentally more beneficial than traditional charcoal with 50% household energy savings.
The decision-making of stakeholders will be improved by the use of this climate tools, as it gives them new innovative information they can use on their daily work to combat the unfortunate effects of climate change.
The effectiveness of these efforts may be considerably increased by incorporating climate knowledge; the necessity for an integrated strategy that incorporates climate science into transdisciplinary development planning and initiatives is becoming more and more obvious.
Climate Information are categorized into three types:
Historical data: This climate tool assists in clarifying trends, provides climate statistics, sets a context for current data, and allows variability and the occurrence of extremes to be quantified.
Real-time data: this involves the current climate observations which supports short-term predictions of the consequences of specific weather events such as heavy rainfall leading to flooding.
Climate forecasts are the predictions of the climate ranging from long-term weather forecasts, through seasonal forecasts, to medium-term (10–30 years) and long-term climate change projections
Climate Financial Mechanisms
This is a local, national, or international fund that is derived from public, private, and alternative sources of funding in an effort to promote climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
Climate financial mechanism allows for the provision of financial assistance to African countries to address the climate change challenges.
Developed countries are under an obligation to provide these funds in order to assist African countries to implement and carry out actions against climate change.
Global Environment Facility(GEF), Green Climate Fund (GCF), Adaptation Fund (AF), Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Adaptation Fund (AF) and many more are some of the financial institutes established to release funds and ensure that positive changes are achieved when these funds are made available.
Aside offering a cooling shade, trees purify the air, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add grace and beauty to our homes and communities.
It helps combat climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
Tree planting remains one of the most effective tools to combat the climate crisis and restore biodiversity.
“To create healthy ecosystems and effectively capture carbon, reforestation projects must do more than simply put trees into the soil. That means using a variety of native species, engaging local populations to look after the trees in the long term and, above all, protecting and restoring existing forests.” – Linda Freiner, Group Head of Sustainability at Zurich Insurance Group.
Recycling and Waste Prevention
Recycling and waste prevention are more effective ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that result from energy consumption.
Recycling lowers energy use, which in turn lowers greenhouse gas emissions. There is less demand for virgin materials when recycled materials are used to create new items. By doing this, greenhouse gas emissions from mining or extracting virgin minerals are avoided. Also, it often takes less energy to produce things from recycled materials than from virgin ones.
Waste reduction and wise buying more efficient ways to aids in lowering greenhouse gas emissions caused by energy use. Less energy is required to collect, transport, and process raw materials for product manufacturing when we buy fewer things or reuse what we already have. Another way to cut back on energy use is to buy goods created from recycled materials instead of new ones, such paper, plastic, and metal. More trees can stay standing and continue to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere thanks to waste reduction and recycling of paper products.
Irrigation is a significant method for increasing the global food supply. Crop yields from irrigation could be more than twice as high as those from dryland farming.
Irrigation adds water to the soil in order to supply moisture for plant growth, ensure the survival of crops during droughts and cools the soil and the atmosphere, thereby making the environment more favourable for plant growth.
While irrigation stands out as a strategy for enhancing agricultural output, it can also serve as a foundation for growth, income, and employment in underdeveloped rural areas, hence reducing one of the reasons why people migrate from their homes to the cities. In order to address the present issues of deforestation, overgrazing, drought, and soil degradation in many regions of Africa, alternative energy solutions including solar, hydro, and wind power are also necessary.
Other pertinent ways that climate change can be tackled involves:
Gas flaring, proper cultivation using excellent farming system that does not support flooding, avoidance of bush burning, overgrazing and deforestation and many more.
However, there are also bodies that have been solely organized to make policies that supports extreme climate actions. These bodies are:
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
With the ultimate purpose of preventing dangerous human interference with the climate system, UNFCCC was created in 1992. For the first time, a climate change agreement brought all countries into an ambitious undertaking to combat climate change by limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Having studied the adverse danger that the global climate change poses on mankind and nature, UNFCCC is charged with the responsibility to calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions in order to combat these changes.
Its other objective is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous human induced interference with the climate system. This would allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change.
The Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement was drafted with the effort of refocusing efforts on lowering greenhouse gas emissions and containing the rise in global average temperature. It is an international agreement tool that obligates nations to take ambitious climate-related measures for loss and damage reduction, adaptation, mitigation, ending hunger and preserving food security, highlights the necessity of safeguarding all ecosystems (including seas) and biodiversity, regarded by some cultures ‘Mother Earth’.
The Escazú Agreement as a regional tool to promote and protect climate action
In terms of protecting access rights and promoting equality, this agreement is a groundbreaking tool to protect the environment, which also represents the region’s goals, priorities, and distinctive qualities.
The Escazú Agreement as a tool for combating climate change is pertinent because it guarantee that all people can:
Take advantage of their right to a healthy environment.
Participate in environmental decision-making and voice their viewpoint.
Provides sustainable growth with a multigenerational perspective.
Develop and improve cooperation and capacity-building.
It has promoted nations to create new methods, modernized information systems, processes, and regulatory reforms structure for ensuring access rights (information, participation and justice).
National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)
NAPs as a tool for curbing climate change improves resilience and adaptive capacity, lessens the vulnerability of the adverse effects of climate change. It also helps applicable policies, programs, and initiatives incorporate climate change adaptation.
NAPs effort involves the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the environment.
Moving forward, African governments must increase their spending on biophysical monitoring, early warning systems, preparedness tools, and early reaction mechanisms, and incorporate such knowledge into their plans.
If immediate action is not taken, climate change may intensify conflicts and natural disasters while hindering African development initiatives. The African governments do not only have a duty to contribute positively to a global agreement to combat climate change, but they also have a duty to create an enabling policy framework that addresses management, planning, and service delivery functions for adaptation and supports the efforts of local institutions and other actors.
Reforestation, better water management, integrated soil fertility management, conservation agriculture, agroforestry, and enhanced rangeland management are a few examples of new opportunities that climate change may present for productive and sustainable land management methods in Africa.