It’s the first UN climate conference to be held in Africa since Marrakech hosted COP22 in 2016, and all eyes are back on the continent’s role in the race to curb global warming. Africa contributes just 7% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, and yet African countries face some of the worst effects of the climate crisis. It’s also home to a variety of leading climate change solutions – not least several Pinwheel projects.
Across much of the continent, the same areas that are suffering the effects of global warming are becoming key sites for exciting, effective environmental projects. In Mozambique, where an area the size of Portugal has been deforested by a combination of cyclones, floods and commercial logging, Eden Reforestation is restoring lost ecosystems, planting more than 80 million carbon-storing mangroves and terrestrial trees while employing local communities. Elsewhere, Justdiggit uses nature-based solutions to promote the regreening of degraded land across Kenya and Tanzania.
Beyond the big-picture effects of global warming, many projects are doing great local work to mitigate the human impact on the environment. As a ‘mobile-first’ continent with limited recycling infrastructure, e-waste has become a pressing problem throughout Africa. Projects like Closing the Loop are working to protect people and planet by intercepting e-waste, with almost 3 million phones saved from landfill so far.
While great initiatives are happening on the ground, recognition of Africa’s importance in the fight against climate change at COP27 will be vital. As Africa’s chief climate negotiator, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima of Zambia recently noted, the reality of climate change is particularly stark for rural communities across the continent, and “tangible, implementable outcomes”, particularly on climate finance promises, will be key to a successful COP27.
Interested in learning more? Discover Pinwheel’s projects in Africa and beyond.