AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT IN A CHANGING CLIMATE

The World Bank’s latest GDP growth projection for Sub-Saharan Africa for 2010 is 3.7 percent, compared with 1.3 percent for rich countries as a group and 2.5 percent for developing countries as a group excluding India and China.

The World Bank’s latest GDP growth projection for Sub-Saharan Africa for 2010 is 3.7 percent, compared with 1.3 percent for rich countries as a group and 2.5 percent for developing countries as a group excluding India and China.

1 Climate experts estimate that global warming of 2 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures could result in permanent reductions in annual per capita consumption of 4-5 percent in Africa

1 Rain-fed agriculture contributes about 30 percent of the region’s GDP, but that source of income may start drying up. By 2080, as much as 9-20 percent of the region’s arable land will become much less suitable for agriculture.

Even today, about 86 percent of the land in Sub-Saharan Africa is moisture-stressed.

1 Africa suffers from natural fragility (two-thirds of its surface area is desert or dry land) and high exposure to droughts and floods, which will likely increase with climate change.

Devastating floods, once rare, have been reported across the region. In 2000, flooding in Mozambique cost the country an estimated $550 million, lowering national GDP by 1.5 percent.

• Africa is rapidly urbanizing, with the urban population set to exceed the rural by 2030. About 300 million additional urban residents are expected over the next 25 years, making climate-resilient urban planning critical.

• By 2030, 90 million more people in Africa will be exposed to malaria, a climate-related disease. This is a 14 percent increase (Hay and others, 2006).

• More than 550 million Africans lack access to electricity and 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are currently in a state of power crisis. On average, only 24 percent of the population has access to modern energy.

In Rwanda 93 in 100 people have no access; in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 94 in 100 people have no access.

• Biomass provides 80 percent of the primary domestic energy supply. Indoor air pollution from burning biomass contributes to the respiratory infections that cause 17 percent of deaths among children under age five.

• The region has huge potential for renewable energy: it has only used 8% of its hydropower potential, compared, for example, to 30 percent in Latin America. However, exploiting these resources requires both technology and finance.

• Several countries in Africa are beginning to participate in efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and land degradation (REDD). Big potential benefits could come from future REDD instruments for Africa.

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