08 Feb 2022, 14:48
Jessica Bateman

Germany must change its Africa policy in light of climate crisis - think tank

Die Zeit

The EU’s Africa summit in mid-February is an ideal opportunity for Germany to look at how it can better support the continent in adapting to climate change, Olumide Abimbola, founder and director of the Berlin-based Africa Policy Research Institute (APRI) has argued in a guest post for Die Zeit. Abimbola pointed out that Africa has only contributed 2.73 percent of global emissions despite having a population of 1.2 billion, whereas Germany and its less than 85 million residents have contributed 4 percent. Yet the continent bears the brunt of the climate crisis, with temperatures and sea levels rising faster than elsewhere. According to Abimbola, Germany’s policy towards Africa has traditionally focused on security, but it needs to refocus on climate change adaptation given that global warming is already a major cause of displacement on the continent. The upcoming summit is the ideal opportunity for the new coalition government to put into practice its talks of “climate diplomacy”, he argues.

Other experts such as the European Central Bank’s Werner Hoyer have called for greater cooperation on recycling and renewables between Europe and Africa. The EU has set the course for climate neutrality by 2050, but its Green Deal sustainable growth strategy could have a sizeable impact far beyond the continent itself. Implemented correctly, policy experts say it could help deepen the relations between Europe and Africa and strengthen the economies on both continents.

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