We already knew climate change would be a major threat to development gains in Africa, but a recent report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals the impacts could be significantly worse. Across the continent, research indicates with greater precision and certainty the future increases in flooding severity and extreme weather events over the coming decades. Among the findings: In West Africa, the number of potentially lethal heat days reaches 50–150 per year at 1.6°C global warming and 100–250 per year at 2.5°C global warming, with the highest increases in coastal regions; In Southern Africa, heavy rainfall events would become more frequent and intense at all levels of global warming, increasing exposure to flooding; and, at 2°C global warming, unprecedented extreme droughts are projected to emerge. These are alarming projections given that the continent is the least responsible for climate change but most vulnerable to its consequences.
Communities still live without reliable and affordable electricity needed to deliver social services and to be more resilient, better prepared, and more responsive when disasters hit.
“Yet even as the climate crisis accelerates, Africa needs to close its huge energy access gap and achieve its development goals.