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An African perspective on transboundary and cascading climate risks

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Sarah Opitz-Stapleton

Image credit:NASA Johnson. Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This brief, produced by Adaptation Without Borders, looks at how transboundary and cascading climate risks could impact different African regions, with a focus on East Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa.

“Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change and climate variability”, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded as far back as 2007. But while Africa’s exposure and vulnerability to direct climate risks have long been recognised, the same cannot be said for the consequential transboundary and cascading climate impacts.

This brief first looks at how transboundary and cascading climate risks could impact different African regions, with a focus on East Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa. It then examines what roles national adaptation plans (NAPs) and regional adaptation plans can play in managing these risks. Finally, it makes recommendations for how the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) could use processes and programmes under the UNFCCC to push for support measures that better manage transboundary and cascading climate risks in Africa.

ODI is one of the founding members of Adaptation Without Borders, alongside Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI).

Authors: Katy Harris, Magnus Benzie, Frida Lager, Andrea Lindblom, Sarah McAuley, Kwame Ababio, Huzi Ishaku Mshelia, Cromwel Lukorito, Sarah Opitz-Stapleton