Dr. Youba Sokona, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (Not4Experts October 2016)

Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Africa

Dr. Youba Sokona
Growing scientific literature indicates that continued increase of GHG emissions would cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system.  Reversing this trend will require a major departure from business-as-usual and a concerted effort to substantially reduce GHG emissions. For African countries, the debate on sustainable development goals brings together national development aspirations including poverty alleviation, with issues of economic growth and the enhancement of human wellbeing. Development objectives have multidimensional character, representing various economic, social, environmental, local and global sustainability dimensions. Synergies and tradeoffs exist between climate change and development. The issue is to find the best way in maximizing the synergies and minimizing the tradeoffs. One of the key approaches to effectively address this concern is starting from development priorities and exploring how to make them more sustainable and climate compatible. Indeed, climate policies can be more effective when consistently embedded within broader strategies designed to make national and regional development paths more sustainable.
In essence, starting with country development agenda or in other word the ‘development first’ approach epitomizes the organizing principle of pursuing development strategies with concomitant climate change compatibility. The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative launched at the COP21 in Paris offers such an approach to achieve sustainable development goals and climate objectives simultaneously. 
This month's Not4Experts webinar will be given by Youba Sokona. Dr. Sokona first attempted to deliver his presentation over Skype at the Tyndall Assembly in September but was sadly unable to do so due to technical problems. However, we are fortunate that he has graciously agreed to present his talk at this Month's N4Es slot.