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Africa may not be the largest contributor to climate change, but its population bears climate change’s worst impacts. African populations are vulnerable, whether to crop failure to households relying on subsistence agriculture, to flooding of urban residents in poor coastal communities, or to disease outbreaks through vector and waterborne illness.
At the same time, Africa is experiencing sharp economic growth. Ghana’s economic growth, for example, has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world in recent years. Much of this growth has been driven by extractive industry, including mining and oil, and the agriculture sector has largely relied on unsustainable practices.
Fortunately, climate solutions are being developed each day by Africa’s brilliant entrepreneurs. Companies are building innovative products and business models to increase the productivity of sustainable agriculture; to lower the costs of rooftop solar and microgrids; to collect waste for recycling and conversion to energy; to market innovative toilets to reduce the spread of disease.
Climate Innovation Centres such as those in Ghana and Nigeria promote the success and growth of these climate solutions. They are driving the inclusive green growth in African economies that can produce tremendous financial, social, end environmental benefits. These centers are building bridges between transformational African businesses, the booming market for their sustainable products and services, and the impact investors whose capital can drive growth.
- Pat Sapinsley, Executive Director, NYU ACRE Urban Futures Lab
- Rukayatu Sanusi: Executive Director, Ghana Climate Innovation Centre
- Bankole Oloruntoba: CEO, Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre
- Alessandra Giannini, Senior Research Scientist, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, International Research Institute for Climate and Society
This event is part of the Climate Finance, Investment and Carbon Pricing program of Climate Week NYC.