Africa’s Quest for a Green Future

We are halfway through COP21 and the call for urgent action to accelerate the adaptation and build resilient communities in Africa has been wide-spread.  The struggle to get commitment to keep global warming levels within the 2 degree threshold and financing the transition to clean energy continue into the second week. The climate change challenge is incredibly large in scope and requires reinforcing additional areas if the continent can leapfrog carbon dependency development. Below are some of the other factors that we see playing a major role in the climate revolution for Africa:

  1. Playing the long game: Beyond financing, another key aspect for Africa is the ability and willingness to meaningfully integrate climate concerns and information into long-term development goals. This is particularly difficult given the urgency of some of the continent’s development problems such as energy and sustainable food production.
  2. Creative Innovation: There is a lot of emphasis on the potential and impact of high tech global solutions such as solar and wind. But there also needs to be space for homegrown innovation that comes from local community initiatives. Projects such as the Gre-Cycling initiative that turns plastic into fuel, used local insights and knowledge, to develop a sustainable energy solution that addressed their communities’ needs.
  3. Connecting the dots: It is now becoming increasingly clear that the climate change issue is connected to just about every other sustainable development concern from the food we eat, the houses we live in, the things we buy to the air we breathe. By making these connections, climate change can be moved into the mainstream development agenda allowing for better resource allocation and planning.

We need to stop thinking in generalizations and bring process back into thinking. These words by an environmental activist capture how the journey to sustainability needs to be. There isn’t one sweeping policy or development project that will save Africa, rather a myriad of ideas that integrate collaboration and commitment at all levels.

*Pic c/o

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