African governments have been urged to develop unique measures to tackling climate change as the menace continues to hamper developmental efforts on the continent.
Although climate change is a global phenomenon, its consequences have never been evenly distributed as developing countries and small island nations are often the first and hardest hit.
But speaking to Class News on the sidelines of the fifth Climate Change and Population Conference on Africa held in Accra, Policy Officer at the AU Commission Nana Kyeretwie Osei said it was high time Africans contributed effectively to global discussions on the climate change.
He noted that although the continent contributed less to climate change, the continent suffered its effects more than other continents.
“When you look at climate change and the causes of climate change, which is global warming, and the emissions that are going out into the atmosphere, as a continent we do not really contribute a lot to the emissions that are causing the problem. Africa as a continent only contributes five percent to global emissions but we are bearing the brands of the issue so it is something that is being produced elsewhere but we are having the problems. However, I think there are some issues we need to deal with as a continent because when you look at our cities, we are not using scientific methods to plan our cities and drainage systems are very bad,” he stated.
In his opinion, the only way to resolve the effect of climate change on the continent was for African leaders to find solutions tailored for the continent and not solutions handed down from other continents.
“…We need to get solutions that are tailored to Africa. We haven’t had a tradition of producing research that goes out in the international arena but a lot of these solutions that are coming out through international forums are being given to Africa by people who are not living in Africa and they are being presented to Africans by people who are not Africans. So, we need to be able to make sure that when we go out to speak, we speak from our own experience, our own research, and we offer our own solutions,” he stressed.