Why Biden should collaborate with Africa to fight climate change

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Updated: March 6, 2021

Since becoming President on January 20, Joseph R. Biden Jr. has not held back in demonstrating a prideful and passionate vision for addressing the climate crisis. Biden wants America to lead the world in creating the first Clean Energy Revolution.

In the State Dining room of the White House on January 27, Biden announced a preamble to signing the executive order that would spark American direction towards a future of sustainable development that addresses the climate change crisis as both a moral obligation and economic imperative.

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“It’s a future of enormous hope and opportunity. It’s about coming to the moment to deal with this maximum threat that we-that’s now facing us- climate change – with a greater sense of urgency. In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis and we can’t wait any longer. We see it with our own eyes, we feel it, we know it in our bones, and it’s time to act,” the president said.

In signing the new executive order titled “ Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad”, Biden put into place several initiatives that demonstrate U.S ambition, empowerment, innovation, accountability, and leadership.

The president has said his administration will put the climate crisis at the center of United States Foreign Policy and National security.  In doing so, the united states will work with other countries and partners, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to put the world on a sustainable climate pathway. This means rejoining the Paris Agreement  and building upon its three overarching objectives – a safe global temperature, increased climate resilience, and financial flows aligned with a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development.

The Biden White House will also take a government wide approach to the climate crisis such as the establishment of the White House office of Domestic Climate Policy and the National Climate task force. The task force will facilitate planning and implementation of the key Federal actions to reduce climate pollution; increase resilience to the impacts of climate change; protect public health; conserve our lands, waters, oceans, and biodiversity; deliver environmental justice; and spur well-paying union jobs and economic growth. They will engage on these matters with State, Local, Tribal, and territorial governments; workers and communities; and leaders across various sectors of the economy.

Biden’s vision for the domestic clean energy revolution is ambitious, articulate, and innovative. His direction for America appears clear and effective. However, he must follow through on his Foreign Policy promises and extend this vision to solving the most challenging climate issues in the world.

Africa as a whole faces a greater threat than other regions in terms of growing climate change risk. The State of the Climate in Africa  2019 report by the World Meteorological Organization has highlighted the severity of the issues.

Africa faces significant challenges in addressing the climate change risks, including increasing temperature, changing precipitation patterns, rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather and climate events such as heat and drought.

These issues have a pronounced effect on the Agriculture sector which acts as the backbone of Africa’s economy. People depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and food security.

Climate change also has a debilitating effect on the public health, impacting both environmental and social determinants. Africa  is uniquely at risk for health effects of climate change because it has high burdens of climate sensitive diseases and low preparedness and adaptive response capacity.

Given these risks about the state of African Climate change risk, Biden should demonstrate his true climate change leadership and collaborate with Africa to begin their very own Clean Energy revolution.

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Mason Witzler
Mason Witzler
Mason Witzler is an International Foreign Policy writer at TODAY NEWS AFRICA. He is a current Resource, Environment, and Energy fellow at The Africa Center for Strategic Progress. He has an academic background in Economics and International business. Mason areas of interest include International development, socio-economic and cultural issues, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, moral/existential philosophy, and personal development. It is his core belief that every human plays a role in discovering individual purpose in order to create a better world

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