Why UN climate science reports have Africa-shaped gaps

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Africa is home to one in six of the world’s people and rising. From its sensitive ecosystems to booming cities, the continent is vulnerable to climate change and increasingly important to tackling it.

an african scientists during the soil modelling trining in accra

Yet fewer than one in ten contributors to a landmark UN report on the science of 1.5C global warming launched in October last year were African, of whom many were based at universities outside the region.

Out of  91 lead authors of the IPCC special report on 1.5C global warming only eight were from Africa. A further 78 were among the 783 contributing authors to the three working groups, with most focused on the impacts of climate change. Of the 489 expert reviewers of the first draft, only 25 were Africans, or 5%

A shortage of observational data, high journal fees and lack of compensation for contributors throw up barriers to participation in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process, experts tell Climate Home News.

“Africa’s participation in the IPCC assessments is very limited,” says James Murombedzi, coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Whereas the IPCC draws confident conclusions about trends in the EU, North America and Australia, there is a lot of uncertainty around African findings. Some chapters have no African authors, or only one.

Consequently, Murombedzi says African theories, perspectives and experiences are inadequately represented.

Read the rest of the story originally published by Climate Home News here

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