Ethiopia, first African country to launch green growth plan

August 15th, 2011 | by addis portal |

Ethiopia on Wednesday announced plans to launch a “green growth strategic plan” which claims to be the first of its kind in Africa.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is expected to unveil the plan at the climate change conference to be held in Durban, South Africa in December.

The plan, sponsored by the Agriculture ministry, aims at realising a carbon free economy by 2020, which many countries across the globe are striving to implement.

Ethiopia is among several African countries affected by the impact of climate change although it has the lowest average per capita emissions.

The scenario is same throughout the continent, which has a population of one billion people.

 

Meles, who has been a strong proponent of a serious response to climate change in the past few years, is as a spokesperson and representative for Africa at the ongoing world climate change talks.

The Ethiopian PM has also been lobbying developed countries to give Africa huge sums of money to tackle the impact of climate change.

 

And according to Agriculture Minister, Tefera Deribew, Ethiopia is working towards a carbon free economy by 2020.

 

“The nation envisages cutting carbon emission by half through undertaking soil and forest development works,” said Deribew on the role of the agriculture sector in the proposed plan.

 

Drought

 

The impact of climate change is being felt around the globe but mostly in Africa.

 

This has resulted in heavy floods and lack of rains in many African countries. And researchers say the drought in the Horn of Africa, which has affected over 12 million people, is due to climate change.

“Although Africa has the lowest average per capita emission, it is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of its overdependence on rain-fed agriculture, poverty and weak capacity to adapt,” said Alemu Mekonnen.

Makonnen who is an Ethiopian researcher and coordinator of Environmental Economics Policy Forum for Ethiopia (EEPFE)  at Addis Ababa University made the remarks in a paper he presented at a national forum on the impact of climate change in Africa.

 

In the paper titled: “Carbon Markets and Mitigation Strategies for Africa,” Makonnen also listed the mitigation strategies that could benefit Africa.

 

“Africa should emphasise on clean energy development, mitigate emission from livestock, avoid deforestation, encourage reforestation, improve agricultural and land management system,” he said.

 

Activists and researchers have warned that if enough is not done to finance vital projects for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Africa, the continent will face more severe climate risks in the years to come.

 

Recent estimates indicate that mitigation efforts in developing countries could cost between US$145 billion and US$175 billion a year over the next 20 years, while adaptation investments could average US$30 billion to US$100 billion a year from 2010 to 2020.

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