The Paris Agreement on Climate Change – Implications for Africa

The historic 21st annual meeting (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in December 2015 resulted in the Paris Agreement (Agreement) which goes further than any previous climate accord in respect of its ambition. This is particularly true in respect of the Agreement’s recognition of “the specific needs and special circumstances of developing country Parties, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.” Africa is not named explicitly in this context but it is clear that the Agreement has particular significance for the continent. This article will briefly summarise the impact of climate change on Africa. It will then examine the implications of the Paris Agreement for Africa across a range of different topics, including African countries’ plans to contribute to meeting the new ambitious climate target; adaptation, mitigation and loss and damage; climate finance; deforestation; agriculture; non-national government responses; transparency; technology transfer and capacity building; and most pertinently, the implications for the energy sector.