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Africa’s adaption gap: Climate-change impacts, adaptation challenges and costs for Africa

The key messages of this report are:

  • Africa faces a significant challenge in adapting to climate change with costs and damages rising rapidly with warming.
  • Warming limited to below 2°C still implies major adaptation costs for Africa: 4°C of warming by 2100 globally will hit the continent very hard.
  • How well Africa deals with these climate impacts, now and in the future, will be co-determined by the funding it receives.
  • Developed countries have committed to provide funds rising to USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.
  • Due to present and committed climate change caused by past emissions Africa is already committed to adaptation costs in the range of US$ 7-15 billion per year by 2020. These costs will rise rapidly after 2020, with higher levels of warming resulting in higher costs and damages.
  • With the present emission trends and policies projected to lead to warming of 3.5-4°C by 2100 funding for adaptation in Africa would need to be scaled up by as much as 10 per cent each year from 2020 onwards.
  • To increase confidence in meeting adaptation needs in Africa, rapid and verifiable scaling up of adaptation funding for Africa is urgent.
  • Unless the Emissions Gap is closed, and warming limited below 2°C, rapidly rising damages, even after full adaptation, and threats to development prospects at least regionally are likely.