Fikayo Akeredolu, the China-Africa program officer at the African Climate Foundation, is urging African countries to prioritize renewable energy sources in infrastructure projects to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and minimize carbon emissions.
She made this submission during a ‘Sino-African Voices’ interaction with the Africa China Centre for Policy and Advisory.
The Africa-China Centre for Policy and Advisory is a Sino-African research and policy think tank and advisory firm headquartered in Ghana.
The Sino-African Voices is a series of Q&As on broader issues regarding Africa-China economic, social, and political cooperation.
According to Fikayo Akeredolu, there are numerous ways in which climate change affects China’s economic relations with Africa, and addressing these impacts necessitates a combination of tactical measures.
She further laid emphasis on the fact that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which involves significant investment in infrastructure and development projects across Africa, can contribute to positive and negative environmental outcomes.
She stated that infrastructure projects, particularly those involving fossil fuels, can contribute to increased carbon emissions. This can exacerbate climate change and affect China’s and Africa’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, some projects related to resource extraction, such as mining and logging, can lead to deforestation, habitat destruction, and ecosystem degradation, impacting biodiversity and local communities.
Nevertheless, the focus of both countries should be on designing infrastructure projects that account for changing climate patterns and are resilient to extreme weather events, contributing to long-term sustainability.