Critical Assessment of the Role and the Response of the African Union and Sub- regional Intergovernmental Organizations in Combating Climate Change

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Addis Ababa University


Africa is the continent which contributes least to global emissians of greenhouse gases-yet is the most vulnerable to its effects of reducing agricultural production, food security, increased flooding and drought, widespread diseases, availability of water, and conflict over scarce land and water resources. The fact that Africa is regarded as one of the most vulnerable continents in terms of climate change means that Africa needs to take some initiatives to combat the adverse impacts af climate change. The continent's particular vulnerability will be exacerbated unless urgent action is taken. This thesis is conducted to identify the actual and potential impacts of climate change in Africa, international climate change negatiations and how and to what extent these international negotiatians have been protecting the interests of Africa. Specifically, the thesis aims. to identify the rales and responses of the African Unian and sub-regional intergovernmental organizations in combating climate change. To gather the needed data, exploratory method'of research is used to explore international climate change regimes, climate change regimes of the African Union and sub-regional intergovernmental organizations, decisions and declarations of the African Union, programs and projects implemented by the African Union, sub- regional intergovernmentol organizations and individual African states. The results showed that the African Union, as a pan African institution, responds to avert the catastrophes of climate change by enacting its own climate change regimes, acceding to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, developing its common position to climate change. The African Union also responds to climate change in partnership with various multilateral and bilateral organizations. On the other hand, sub- regional intergovernmental organizations also playa key role in combating climate change. However, the responses of the African Union and sub-regionol intergovernmental organizations is mainly hampered by member states' conflicting needs and interests, lack of clear relationship between the African Union and sub- regional intergovernmental organizations, regional power house and the existence of various policy gaps at the national and sub- regional levels. So, sub- regional intergovernmental organizatians and individual African states should harmonize interests and needs with that of the African Union. African governments should integrate climate change issues into economic planning and management at both national levels and should enhance coordination among them. Measures should also be taken to link the continent's common position and the prevailing regional, subregional and national policies, strategies, practices and programs. African states should also combat corruption; enhance accountability and transparency to use the climate financing funds for the purposes they are meant for. In addition, African governments have to establish and sustain credible institutions ta address climate change issues on the continent. Key words: climote chonge, internotionol climate chonge negotiations, African Union, subregional intergovernmental organizations



climote chonge, internotionol climate chonge negotiations, African Union, subregional intergovernmental organizations