The United Nations Environment Programme released this week the Emissions Gap Report 2018, showing that the world’s original level of ambition needs to be tripled if we are to stay within 2°C warming, and increased around fivefold for a 1.5°C scenario.
A continuation of current trends will likely result in global warming of around 3.2°C by the end of the century, with continued temperature rises after that.
In the same vein, about two months ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the latest state of the science report on climate change, showing the globe is headed for a 1.5℃ warming sooner than was earlier projected. A 1.5℃ warming scenario is the threshold set by the Paris Agreement as the best insurance against an unravelling climate change impacts projected to spell doom for Africa, key among them, a devastating 75 percent shrinkage of economic productivity in developing countries, most of which are in Africa.
This latest report sends an unequivocal message of the urgent need to ratchet up actions across the entire globe.
WRITING ON THE WALL
Africa cannot afford to slack, as action, and only action, can turn the tides of climate impacts already being felt by many across the continent. We therefore need all hands on deck.
Non-state climate action is rapidly gaining traction globally as a goldmine for enterprise opportunities that grow economies while combating climate change. Africa cannot be left behind. As the African proverb goes ''wood already set alight, is not hard to set alight'', non-state climate action has proved that it is coming of age across the globe and Africa has demonstrated significant aptitude in tapping into this lucrative area. What we now need is strategic-level economic alignments that will rapidly upscale this paradigm like wildfire across the continent.
Since the most of adversities that Africa faces are economic, non-state climate action in Africa should be premised as a catalyst of enterprise opportunities that solve priority socioeconomic challenges accosting this continent.
Economic productivity in the continent is up to 20-times less than that of developed regions who are Africa’s competitors in global and regional markets. This is primarily due to lack of value addition to commodities for which the region holds a comparative advantage. With this, manufacturing has stagnated, accounting for an average of just 10 percent of GDP since the 1970s.