Countries the world over are susceptible to the devastating effects of climate change. In southern Africa, climate change is causing severe environmental degradation, natural disasters, extreme weather conditions and adverse food insecurity. Each year, excessive carbon emissions from coal, oil, and gas are released into the atmosphere. Human activity is also producing greenhouse gas emissions at disproportionate levels.

The poor and vulnerable communities are facing the brunt of this climate crisis. Extreme weather conditions are causing low food yields, floods, heatwaves, and droughts. The crisis has pushed millions of people into poverty, catalysing conflict. As people migrate, competition for resources such as land, food and water heighten.

Solutions to this climate crisis must prioritise the safeguarding of rights for the poor and vulnerable. The impact of climate change affects women and men differently. Women face more injustices arising from the impact of climate change. The gender dimensions of climate change must be evaluated. 

How do we ensure citizens have access to the vast resources in Africa to support pro-poor development? Effective partnerships will secure climate justice through a pooling of resources to support adaption and resilience initiatives, skills sharing and access to relevant technologies.

COP27 is not far off. This dialogues series is our climate change campaign for a Roadmap to COP27: From Johannesburg to Sharma El-Sheikh. They will contribute towards shaping Africa’s message from citizens most vulnerable to climate change, to be presented at COP27.