Getting ready for a warmer future in Sub-Saharan Africa: Climate change adaptation policies in South Africa and Kenya

Dr Fernando Barrio and Angela Mutsotso, Queen Mary Global Policy Institute, Queen Mary University of London

Artwork: Dr Cécile Girardin
  • the second element deals with Adaptation needs and costs, including the goal of developing a vulnerability assessment and adaptation needs framework that is conducted biannually;
  • the third element is Adaptation Investment, with the goal six of communication of past investments, increase in domestic investment, implementation of investment and support from international financial mechanisms;
  • the fourth and last element relates to equity considerations, as South African views adaptation as part of a global effort, but it cannot divert from its development goals, geared towards the elimination of poverty, reduction of inequality and increasing employment.
  • Environment: This includes goals on the forestry sector aimed at increasing tree coverage and greening infrastructure. There are additional goals on the coastal and marine management and conservation.
  • Infrastructure (energy): Following a vulnerability risk assessment develop guidelines on climate proofing energy infrastructure and increase participation in efficient energy use.
  • Infrastructure (roads): includes climate proofing and design innovation on at least 4500km of road.
  • Water and Sanitation: conduct climate risk assessments, build resilience on dams, dykes and rivers lines and promote water harvesting.
  • Health: conduct vulnerability assessments, develop climate change plans and policies and work to reduce the incidence of malaria and other vector borne diseases.
  • Population, urbanisation and housing: introduce flood control measures and green building codes in urban areas.
  • Tourism: develop guidelines and a climate resilience action plan.
  • Gender, youth and other vulnerable groups: Develop social structures, strengthen vulnerable groups access to climate finance and make climate technologies more accessible to different groups in society.
  • Private Sector: Mobilise financial resources for green investment and operationalise the Green Business Agenda. Promote eco-labelling and climate proof waste management infrastructure.
  • Devolution: Build climate vulnerability and risk assessments into County Planning processes and decision making.
  • Adaptation M&E: Refine and operationalise adaptation M& E systems.
  • Element Based Vs. Sectoral Specific Approach: To attain sustainable development and effectively respond to climate change, an integrated approach to policy and decision making must be employed across all levels of government. Kenya approaches adaptation by outlining 11 priority sectors and this approach has its merits, as these sectors have been identified in National Development Plans, but it may be more beneficial to identify Adaptation Objectives as the focal point of CC responses. This approach ensures mainstreaming of adaptation and resilience measures across all sectors. While there is merit in prioritising resilience in key productive sectors, this should be reserved for sectoral policies instead of the overarching national approach.
  • National Coordination: Finally, it is important that the national coordination structures and their policy making powers be established by legislation, in order to ensure consistency and stability that goes beyond the political changes of each country. Ideally, this structures should be part of a Climate Change Act.

Climate Exp0 was the first virtual conference from the COP26 Universities Network and the Italian University Network for Sustainable Development (RUS).