Health and Climate Change Nexus: Accelerating progress through integrated climate and clean air action in Africa

Africa Climate Week 2023

Minimizing the vulnerabilities of healthcare systems to climate change is crucial to improving resilience, and to protecting the well-being of and survival of Africa’s population.  An integrated approach to climate and clean air through the reduction of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs - black carbon, methane, and HFCs) has proven to be an effective solution to contribute to climate change mitigation while achieving co-benefits to health. Reducing SLCPs addresses air pollution as a public health emergency that results in more than 1 million premature deaths a year in Africa. 

The recent Integrated Assessment of Air Pollution and Climate Change for Sustainable Development in Africa developed by the AUC, CCAC, and UNEP in conjunction with SEI highlighted 5 key areas for integrated action which include transport, residential, energy, agriculture, and waste. But how can we best accelerate progress towards clean air and a stable climate in Africa? 

Countries across Africa are deeply committed to reducing SLCPs in support of development objectives, implementing fit-for-purpose policies and regulations across sectors. At the same time, entrepreneurs are developing innovative solutions to combat air pollution and contribute to climate mitigation across sectors, a critical tool to unlock potential health benefits for Africans.  

This session of Africa Climate Week will bring together air quality and climate experts, country partners, entrepreneurs, philanthropy, and multilateral development banks for a discussion geared towards answering the following questions: 

  • How can we harness the power of policy, science, and innovation to implement climate and clean air measures across priority areas to maximize health benefits?  
  • What barriers remain to financing priority climate and clean air measures, and where should this investment come from?

These takeaways will be presented by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), and will be the basis for a panel discussion of government, private sector, and development bank stakeholders.