Post-Kyoto Protocol Negotiations At Cop20: Sunrise Or Sunset For Economic
Post-Kyoto Protocol negotiations at Lima, Peru opened the age-worn Pandora Box of climate politics. The political stalemate is between developed and developing economies pitched against one another in resolving greenhouse gases emission cuts gridlock. With carbon emissions reaching an all time high of 400ppm in 2014, limiting atmospheric emission to less than 2 oC is critical to ending fossil fuel consumption by 2050. Despite pledges made by US and China to make critical emission cuts by 2025 and 2030 respectively, global emissions will still exceed plausible trajectory of 2oC in the years to come. Northern-sponsored solution for resolving the political stalemate was a thorny issue at Lima as it was not accepted to global south. Lima Accords requires all nations to uniformly cut emissions. Therein lies the rub. For Africa, the pace of economic growth will decrease as they are now threatened by natural disaster in addition to man-made solutions from COP20. The paper is of the opinion averting dangerous climate change in the years to come will not be determined by spurious promises of non-binding emissions cuts or making idealistic pledges of funding adaptation. Transformation of global carbon-based economy will be the outcome of serious commitments toward carbon cuts throughout the rest of the century. It posits the current climate non-binding agreement and commitment towards funding adaptation will not guarantee political lock -in at COP21 slated for Paris in 2015. Progress towards carbon cuts based on Intended Nationally Defined Contributions is not the final word on emissions. Therefore, current pledge and review regime will have a short shelf life as most nations cannot determine its national policy framework for the next few years let alone for 2030. It is my conclusion this political dead end of climate negotiations will push many in Africa below the poverty trap threshold as it is also with food security and economic growth imperatives. Africa will be more amiable to carbon cuts model not detrimental to its growth trajectory. The paper concludes that for Africa to leap frog from carbon intense pathway to low carbon trajectory there must be concrete arrangement for financing adaptation and a legal binding instrument.