Climate Justice for Africa: Building up to COP 27 (Africa’s COP)
November 18, 2022
Imagine a world where vulnerable populations, especially in developing countries, don’t have to struggle with issues such as hunger and starvation as a result of food insecurity. People don’t have to worry about unpredictable floods that destroy their livelihoods and homes. This is what many households in different parts of Africa hope for. However, there is still a lot that needs to be done to make this a reality. In August this year, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported that the Horn of Africa is poised to enter its fifth consecutive failed rainy season. This report comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other humanitarian agencies warned that over 50 million people face food insecurity in the Horn of Africa. Food insecurity has been exacerbated by the effects of climate change in the region.
What climate justice for Africa means
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognizes that climate justice stems from the idea that climate change is not just an environmental issue, but also a political and ethical one. This is because the effects of climate change fall disproportionately across different parts of the world. Regions like Africa are much more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. However, the continent has contributed the least to the problem, with less than 4% of the global carbon emissions.
In some parts of the continent, children are experiencing learning poverty since their schools have been washed away by floods. Others can’t attend school as they have to work extra hard to look for food as a result of food insecurity worsened by droughts. The most affected are women, adolescent girls, and people living with disabilities (PWDs) who remain the most vulnerable population in the continent. Many of them face risks of malnutrition and even death. According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Somalia representative Wafa Saeed, more than 700 children died in nutrition centers in Somalia from January to July 2022. This shows the severity and urgency of the situation in Africa. Therefore, climate justice for Africa is anchored on advocating and pushing for equal sharing of the burden of climate change and recognition that even though it’s incumbent upon everyone to #ActNow, wealthier nations need to do more to finance climate change adaptation in Africa.