Editor's choice of free-to-view papers: focus on Africa

Published in partnership with Climate Strategies, Climate Policy is a world leading peer-reviewed academic journal publishing high quality research and analysis on all aspects of climate change policy, including adaptation and mitigation, governance and negotiations, and policy design, implementation and impact. Published research spans the boundaries between sectors, disciplines and jurisdictions, making research accessible and relevant to the wide range of people and organisations directly involved in addressing climate change, including academics, policymakers, practitioners and negotiators.

Free access is available until the 30th November 2018, we hope you enjoy reading the research!

Editor’s Choice: Focus on Africa

Africa has a critical role to play in combating climate change, both in terms of mitigation and adaptation.  At less than 10%, the continent’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions remains small relative to its population (15%), but this may well climb as African economies grow and develop.  Demand for affordable and secure sources of energy will likely increase, and how this demand is met will be decisive in bending the GHG emissions curve across 54 African countries, with important global consequences.  For most African countries, this is a question of limiting the rise in emissions, rather than reducing from high levels. Whether African countries choose to develop energy supply based on fossil fuels or renewable energy is critical. At the same time as grappling with climate change, many African nations still face the imperative of alleviating poverty and meeting the fundamental needs for food and water of their growing populations.  Many regions in Africa are also among the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, which threaten to roll-back the development gains of the past decade. Formulating, funding and implementing effective adaptation strategies is therefore an urgent task.  Given this potent mix of challenges, exploiting the many synergies between nationally determined contributions (NDCs) submitted under the Paris Agreement, meeting national development goals and the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), will be key to achieving a low-carbon, climate resilient, prosperous future.  A critical ingredient here will be accessing adequate and predictable levels of climate finance.

This Editor’s Choice focuses on Africa, bringing together papers that consider continent-wide issues – energy and climate finance – along with case studies of Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia and the West African region.  The message is one of cautious optimism.  Africa can meet its climate and development challenges, but much greater political will and international support are still needed.

Climate Policy publishes ground-breaking research and insightful commentary on all the issues on the negotiation agenda, as well as on political and policy developments outside the negotiating halls. 

Stay up-to-date on all aspects of the global response to climate change with Climate Policy - sample some of our recently published papers for free below, join our email mailing list for alerts on new papers, and follow us on twitter @climate_policy and our blog.

Also from the Founding Editor

Planetary Economics

Michael Grubb

How well do our assumptions about the global challenges of energy, environment and economic development fit the facts?

Energy prices have varied hugely between countries and over time, yet the share of national income spent on energy has remained surprisingly constant. The foundational theories of economic growth account for only about half the growth observed in practice. Despite escalating warnings for more than two decades about the planetary risks of rising greenhouse gas emissions, most governments have seemed powerless to change course.

Planetary Economics shows the surprising links between these seemingly unconnected facts. It argues that tackling the energy and environmental problems of the 21st Century requires three different domains of decision-making to be recognised and connected. Each domain involves different theoretical foundations, draws on different areas of evidence, and implies different policies.

The book shows that the transformation of energy systems involves all three domains - and each is equally important. From them flow three pillars of policy – three quite distinct kinds of actions that need to be taken, which rest on fundamentally different principles. Any pillar on its own will fail.

Only by understanding all three, and fitting them together, do we have any hope of changing course. And if we do, the oft-assumed conflict between economy and the environment dissolves – with potential for benefits to both. Planetary Economics charts how.