1 November, 2013

Africa’s adaptation gap: climate change impacts, adaptation challenges and costs for Africa


Michiel Schaeffer, Florent Baarsch, Sophie Adams, Kelly de Bruin, Laetitia De Marez, Sandra Freitas, Andries Hof, Bill Hare

This technical report was commissioned by African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to inform policymakers of the shortcomings and opportunities for adaptation to climate change in Africa. The results demonstrate how delaying action now will result in exponential costs down the road.

Adaptation costs due to past emissions are revealed to be between USD 7-15 billion annually by 2020. Even if emissions gap is closed and we get onto a pathway to hold warming below 2°C – by 2050 adaptation costs could hover around USD 35 billion per year. Analyses of present policies put the world on track to 3.5-4°C warming by 2100 driving the cost of adaptation for Africa to USD 50 billion per year by 2050.

The report illustrates how the magnitude of adaptation requirements could destabilise sectors at the heart of economic progress and outlines a number of technical scenarios for adaptation.