Africa has little influence on climate change decisions – study

Africa has little influence on climate change decisions - study


Africa’s influence on climate change decisions made in the global arena is weak, a new study has revealed.

According to the paper published in the Journal of International Agreements: Politics, Economics and Law, the continent has little influence in the technological design of global decisions on climate change programmes such as REDD+, even though most of the programmes are designed for implementation in Africa.

According to the study, this could be blamed on minimal funding for research that limits research capacity in the continent.

According to a recent blog post by Dr Joanes Atela, one of the paper’s authors, most African governments channel funding to development projects and other needs of the population, leaving research underfunded.

“Most African governments prefer to allocate resources to development and pressing livelihood matters rather than scientific research and publications. As such, the technical influence through global scientific platforms on climate science such as the IPCC remain weak and is an indication that the science-policy nexus in Africa remains weak,” read the post.

The paper goes on to state that African countries perceiving themselves as being poor does not help the situation, since most countries perceive themselves as victims of climate change instead of sources of technological solutions for the global threat.

This, according to the paper, is a result of climate change funding to African countries that comes with conditions from the donor countries on how to use the money.

The inability of countries to send large and diverse delegations to climate change negotiations hampers the continent’s negotiating power, along with the presence of multiple negotiating coalitions that serve to divide the continent’s position on important issues across different socioeconomic and development interests among coalition countries.

“Overall, the study calls for a rethink of pathways to enhancing Africa’s strategies in engaging in multilateral climate change negotiations, especially if climate change regimes specifically targeted at developing countries are to be effective,” said Dr Atela.

The paper was authored by researchers drawn from the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins of the World Agroforestry Centre and the Department of Geography at Cambridge University.

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