UN Secretary-General’s Report on NEPAD Highlights the Impact of Climate Change on Africa’s Development

8 February 2010: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has released a report titled “Social Dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD),” which reviews the state of progress in the implementation of NEPAD, as well as its social dimensions within the context of the converging global food, financial and energy crises, and climate change (E/CN.5/2010/3).

In the report, Secretary-General Ban warns that these crises have eroded economic and social gains made in Africa over the past decade and undermine implementation of the African Union/NEPAD environment initiative. He adds that their adverse social consequences are likely to remain for much longer in Africa, even after the recovery gathers pace in advanced countries.

The report also recognizes that climate change is already having a major impact on the ability of Africa to feed its people, protect them from the vagaries of nature, grow its economies and conserve its environment. It is further noted that African countries contribute the least to climate change and sea-level rise, but that the continent is one of the major areas projected to bear the brunt of the impact.

The report contains some recommendations to enable Africa to grow its economy without harming the environment, including by investing in renewable energy and clean energy, and increasing financial assistance and technology transfer to strengthen the continent's adaptive capacity and pursue sustainable low-carbon growth strategies. The report suggests that the international community should assist African countries in addressing the challenge of climate change by raising the resources needed to support adaptation and mitigation action.

The report will be presented at the 48th session of the Commission for Social Development, which is taking place in New York, US, until 12 February 2010. [UN Press Release] [The Report]