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Climate change can make or break Africa. The continent stands to suffer some of the worst consequences, but the looming catastrophe also presents an unparalleled economic opportunity in the action required to stem it.

So far, Africa has received relatively limited attention and funding for climate action reflecting the reality that most African countries are relatively modest emitters, and feature in negotiations primarily from the perspective of adaptation and loss and damage. This, however, risks ignoring Africa’s compelling potential as a key part of the global climate change solution, and climate change’s potential role as a driver of economic transformation for the continent and its people.

Climate action offers transformational economic development opportunities for Africa that build on three key distinctive assets:

Key distinctive assets

  • Renewable Energy Potential
    Africa has both an abundance of high yield renewable energy potential and relatively limited potentially stranded high-emitting legacy infrastructure (with some notable exceptions such as South Africa’s ageing coal fleet), meaning that it makes eminent economic sense to go renewable from the start and at scale.
  • Land & Natural Resources
    The continent also has large endowments of land and a range of natural resources relevant to various aspects of the effort to meet global climate goals.
  • Youthful And Growing Workforce
    Africa’s youthful and growing workforce will soon be the world’s largest, and could be deployed to tackle a whole range of new processes and industries that may be vital for the fight to stay below 1.5 degrees.