NEW YORK – The global economic recession has translated into a development crisis for Africa, which is revealing the continent’s vulnerability not only to economic contraction but also to climate change. Changing weather patterns are already affecting the lives of millions of Africans by reducing food security, facilitating the spread of diseases like malaria, and prompting mass migration. The livelihoods and lives of millions of people are at risk.
Paradoxically, this crisis also presents a unique opportunity for Africa. The urgency of efforts to address climate change is revealing interesting prospects on the mitigation side, particularly in the areas of renewable energy and low-carbon growth. There is a real possibility to steer countries toward a new development model that will benefit not only Africa, but also the world.