Our planet is suffering. The climate is warming, species are going extinct, natural resources are being wasted, and many of our ecosystems are under enormous stress. While Africa is responsible for only 4% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, 65% of the African population is considered to be directly impacted by the effects of climate change.
The Pan-African Council believes African countries have a unique role as global partners in facing the challenges and opportunities generated by climate change. Furthermore, Africa holds the moral high ground on implementing solutions and policies that ensure we are protecting our natural environment now and into the future.
The Council advocates for the transformations that will be required to protect our planet’s health. In particular, Africa is distinctly positioned to innovate solutions for adaptation and resilience across three critical systems — food, energy, and waste:
With the rise in floods, droughts and other disasters disrupting African food supplies, food production needs to harness greater efficiency and resilience to changing climate patterns. At the same time, we need to encourage and empower Africans to adopt healthier and more sustainable diets.
We need to support the transition from dirty fossil fuels to renewable energy production that leapfrogs the old ways electricity generation. This means implementing regulations, policies and innovations that push the African continent towards cleaner sources of energy and increased energy efficiency.
The global market for waste tends to ship waste to poorer parts of the world, leaving many African countries vulnerable to hazardous materials that pose serious risks to human health. In addition, easily recycled and repurposed waste created across Africa is often left to the landfills. We need African governments to create incentives for companies to design for a circular economy on their soil and work to increase consumer conscientiousness on the products they use.