Research article

Africa and climate justice at COP27 and beyond: impacts and solutions through an interdisciplinary lens

Authors
  • Jhénelle Williams (Department of Geography, North-West Wing, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK)
  • Simon Chin-Yee (Department of Political Science, The School of Public Policy, University College London, The Rubin Building, 29/31 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9QU, UK)
  • Mark Maslin orcid logo (Department of Geography, North-West Wing, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK)
  • Jonathan Barnsley (Department of Geography, North-West Wing, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK)
  • Anthony Costello (Institute for Global Health, Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK)
  • John Lang (Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, 180 Borough High St, London SE1 1LB, UK)
  • Jacqueline McGlade (Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T7NF, UK)
  • Yacob Mulugetta (Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP), University College London, UK)
  • Richard Taylor (Department of Geography, North-West Wing, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK)
  • Matthew Winning (UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN, UK)
  • Priti Parikh orcid logo (Engineering for International Development Centre, Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, University College London, 1–19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB, UK)

This is version 1 of this article, the published version can be found at: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444/ucloe.000062

Abstract

Climate justice is not just a financial transaction to protect the environment. It needs to be seen as the protection of the most vulnerable in society after centuries of resource exploitation. African countries disproportionately face impacts of climate change on their environments, their economies, their resources and their infrastructure. This leads to greater vulnerability and increased exposure to the negative effects of a changing climate. In this article, we highlight the importance of climate justice and its role within the United Nations negotiations, and ultimately in concrete action. We discuss current climate impacts across key sectors in the African region, with a focus on health, infrastructure, food and water scarcity, energy and finance. All sectors are affected by climate change. They are interconnected and under threat. This triggers a ripple effect, where threats in one sector have a knock-on effect on other sectors. We find that the current set of intergovernmental institutions have failed to adequately address climate justice. We also contend that a siloed approach to climate action has proven to be ineffective. As we head towards the next set of negotiations (COP27), this paper argues that the economic and social conditions in Africa can be addressed through financial and collaborative support for adaptation and localised solutions, but that this will only be achieved if climate justice is prioritised by the decision makers. This needs to include a global-scale transition in how climate finance is assessed and accessed. Climate justice underpins real, effective and sustainable solutions for climate action in Africa.

Keywords: climate justice, climate change, Africa, sustainable development, climate finance, gender, environment, policy, energy, health

Rights: © 2023 The Authors.

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Published on
18 Aug 2023
Peer Reviewed

 Open peer review from UCL Open: Environment Editorial Office

Review

Review information

DOI:: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-GEO.AGPTMX.v1.RSXBCF
License:
This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

ScienceOpen disciplines: Environmental change , Geography
Keywords: Environment , Climate Justice , Sustainable Development , Climate Change , Climate Finance , Policy , Energy , Gender , Climate , Africa , Sustainable development , Health

Review text

Review provided by Dr Brian Mantlana

Page

Statement from the article

Comment

Page 4 of 37

The continued side-lining of voices from LDCs and those most vulnerable in society is detrimental not only to those communities and regions but also to the solidarity of global climate action

It would have been helpful to provide both an elaboration of who is sidelining the voices from LDCs and how is the sidelining of LDC voices manifests.

Page 18 of 37

But the Paris Agreement commitments have simply not been met.

Strictly speaking, the agreed timeframe for implementing the Paris Agreement is from 2021 up to 2025 and up to 2030 for others. This sentence could have been written in a manner that indicates that is less definitive.

Page 18 of 37

There is growing interest in pushing investment into developing African gas.

Sentence construction is too colloquial. It is likely that the authors are referring to gas reserves that are found in Africa.



Note:
This review refers to round of peer review and may pertain to an earlier version of the document.

 Open peer review from Melvine Otieno

Review

Review information

DOI:: 10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-GEO.AELKJK.v1.RQBKJL
License:
This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

ScienceOpen disciplines: Environmental change , Geography
Keywords: Environment , Climate Justice , Sustainable Development , Climate Change , Climate Finance , Policy , Energy , Gender , Climate , Africa , Sustainable development , Health

Review text

The article is well written and has strong input towards climate action generally. The introduction and the body is very concrete and it would be amazing if the conclusion bit the way forward in relation to the next COP to be stated, what are the lessons learnt from the COP27 that would be implemented before or showcased during the next COP arrangement.



Note:
This review refers to round of peer review and may pertain to an earlier version of the document.