“Connecting climate change mitigation policies” to save rivers – Eurasia Review

Careful coordination of global climate change mitigation policies is needed to reduce unintended harmful local impacts on African river basins, study finds.

The study published in Natural climate change analyzed approximately 7,000 future scenarios involving global climate change, policies that mitigate climate change, and their local effects.

According to the study, increased vulnerabilities in African basins could arise due to the fragmentation of policies between developed and developing countries aimed at addressing carbon emissions from land-use change.

“Our findings warn of potential unintended consequences for water, energy and food security in African river basins if world leaders fail to coordinate climate change mitigation,” says Andrea Castelletti, co -author of the study and head of the Environmental Intelligence Lab. at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy.

“We therefore underscore the importance of linking global climate change mitigation policies to local dynamics for better exploration of the full range of possible future scenarios while helping decision-makers prioritize sustainable mitigation and climate change solutions. ‘adaptation.”

Castelletti adds that the study focused on African river basins because while previous studies on climate change mitigation have generally developed global or regional analyses, the measurement of impacts at the local scale is often a neglected aspect.

“This work builds on several years of research and stakeholder engagement sessions…to explore the water-energy-food nexus in the complex transboundary water resources systems of rapidly developing countries,” said Castelletti. SciDev.Net.

The research project took the Zambezi river as one of two case studies, the other being the Omo-Turkana basin on the border between Ethiopia and Kenya, he explains.

In experiments conducted between 2017 and 2020, researchers tested two land-use change (LUC) price regimes: a regionally differentiated LUC price and a globally uniform LUC price. In the case of regional differentiation, rich countries have strong efforts to reduce LUC emissions, as indicated by a high LUC emissions price, while developing countries have limited LUC policies, represented by a lower CAS emission prices.

“Our results show that policy fragmentation between developed and developing countries in their approach to addressing carbon emissions from land use change can increase vulnerabilities in African basins because fragmented policies could encourage the proliferation of large-scale agricultural projects in Africa if land-use emissions are priced lower,” says Castelletti.

The study indicates that increased use of agricultural land could lead to a doubling of irrigation demands under globally coordinated approaches that have been designed to reduce carbon emissions. These higher irrigation demands could negatively affect the availability of water resources for power generation, which would put additional pressure on African economies.

“Globally designed strategies need to be reconsidered in light of unexpected and unintended local impact to foster a more sustainable transition to a decarbonized future,” says Castelletti.

Shem Wandiga, Professor of Chemistry at the Institute of Climate Change Adaptation at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, says: “Policy fragmentation is a barrier to tackling carbon emissions from land use changes. land and can increase vulnerabilities in African basins. The fragmentation of policies leads to omissions and conflicts in implementation.

The outcome of the study, according to Wandiga, is important for policy makers, development experts and the general public in Africa.

“It is very important to allow consistency in management,” adds Wandiga. “Water is a dying commodity on the continent due to climate change in almost all parts of the continent. Without water, our survival is in danger.

*Dan Eldon Opiyo is a hardworking and creative man with a keen interest in science journalism. He is a Kenyan journalist who contributes to SciDev.Net’s English edition on sub-Saharan Africa after venturing into journalism in November 2016.

This piece was produced by the UK Sub-Saharan Africa office of SciDev.Net.

Teresa H. Sadler