Author: Ryan

The COP in Africa is not a dream

The COP in Africa is not a dream

Opinion: ‘Africa’s COP’ made some big promises. Here’s how to deliver on them

Mulatu’s dream of a COP in Africa comes in the second edition of the African Union’s flagship climate change summit. The world didn’t wait for the second edition of COP23 but in December 2016, the United States and China became the two major stakeholders to participate in the first COPin Africa, which is based on the COP21 in Paris. The COP in Africa began in Durban, South Africa and will continue this weekend in Nairobi, Kenya. Mulatu Muluzi, the African Union’s (AU) Secretary-General, said this will be an historic opportunity for “the people of Africa to have a seat at the negotiating table when it comes to climate change.” Mulatu may have had good intentions but he forgot one thing: the people of Africa are not ready because they don’t have the money.

The COP in Africa has already set the stage for its failure. The United States pledged to invest $20 billion in Africa over the next ten years to ensure that the continent can continue the transition towards a low-carbon economy. But the COP is not only limited to funding. The United States and China are now the two largest emitters of heat-trapping pollution in the world. They are both large emitters but they are different as China’s emissions are largely concentrated in the south and the United States emissions are mainly concentrated in the west. This means that countries in Africa will have to find ways to compensate for the increased loss of production and income associated with climate change.

In the future, Africa’s COP needs to be based on science, not on the hopes and dreams of politicians. Scientists believe that we are already at the end of the climate emergency in the past 20 years, there are positive signs about how rapidly the climate is changing, and that there is still time to act. In September 2017, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “the temperature increases in the two years after Paris have been smaller than in any comparable time in the past two centuries.” By 2020, the global temperature will be 1.8 degrees Celsius higher than today. In an attempt

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