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Policy mechanisms of the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities to manage transboundary climate risks

Research reports

Written by Sarah Opitz-Stapleton, Courtney Lindsay

Image credit:Kenya Standard Gauge Railway Line Image license:Shutterstock/antony trivet

If individual countries are slow to recognise the transboundary climate risks (TCARs) they face and that they’ve potentially created, are there multicountry policy avenues and mechanisms that could be utilised to assist African countries in assessing and managing such risks in a coordinated and cooperative manner?

This report by the Adaptation Without Borders partnership, co-founded by ODI, conducts a deeper dive into African Union policies and programmes and those of four regional economic communities – the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the East African Community (EAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Africa (IGAD). The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the political economy of TCARs and their management within existing continental and regional economic communities' climate, economic, trade, infrastructure and people-centred policies and programmes. The authors then use this understanding to identify entry points within AU and regional economic communities' mechanisms that could assist member states in coordinated TCAR management.

The report explores the enabling conditions within existing policy structures for enhancing cooperation and managing transboundary climate risks. It highlights ways of moving forward and recommends feasible actions that can be taken by the African Union and the regional economic communities to meet the shared challenges to climate-resilient development that Africa faces.

Authors: Sarah Opitz-Stapleton, Ariadna Ansimov, Courtney Lindsay