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Climate Change: Recognising the Impacts on West Africa

The United States, one of the major culprits with regards to carbon emissions, had been ill-disposed to climate action even before it pulled
out of the Paris Agreement – a global framework to limit global warming to below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C – in 2019.

The current US administration gets a lot of attention for its public opposition to climate change policy, but ten years after the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, where the world’s most developed economies pledged to phase out subsidies to fossil fuels, these countries, according to a report by the Overseas Development Institute provided US$27.6 billion in domestic and international public finance, US$15.4 billion in fiscal support, and US$20.9 billion in state-owned enterprise investments to promote coal-fired power
production in 2019.


African countries have been left frustrated by the unwillingness of the G20 countries, who are also the biggest polluters, to cut back on their emissions, says Oxfam Pan-Africa’s Food Security and Climate Change lead Alvin
Munyasia. “The last Conference of Parties (COP) negotiations in Madrid did not end well as there was a lot of frustration over pertinent issues like
carbon markets, climate induced loss and damage and financing for adaptation.

It is also unfortunate that the deliberations watered down the spirit in which the Paris Agreement was achieved and highlighted the division between large polluters, emerging polluters, and the most vulnerable countries”.

Many countries in West Africa are increasingly feeling the impacts of
climate change, even though, according to World Resources Institute CAIT Climate Data Explorer, the regions greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 were 994.70 million metric tonnes: just 2.03% of global emissions.

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