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Climate action? Here’s how to support social inclusion co-benefits

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Climate action? Here’s how to support social inclusion co-benefits

The climate crisis is exacerbating existing inequalities in the world and exposing vulnerable communities in Africa (who contribute the least to the crisis) to a larger share of environmental risks and dangers.

For this reason, climate actions on the continent must simultaneously address these inequalities and drive social inclusion in the affected societies.

Since co-benefits – the positive effects that an action to tackle climate change may have on other outcomes such as social inclusion, employment, or health – in policymaking is essential to delivering climate action faster, we will be highlighting 3 climate actions and their social inclusion co-benefits.

Energy efficiency

According to the International Energy Agency, 75% of the population without electricity access now lives in sub-Saharan Africa. This means they are unable to access electricity to power their homes and perform certain functions.

By increasing the energy efficiency of homes, greenhouse gas emissions will not only be reduced to the barest minimum but also lift people out of energy poverty. This will resolve social and health inequalities.

Air pollution

There is a notable link between transport, air pollution, and inequality and this is because poor neighborhoods tend to have higher air pollution levels and air pollution is linked to increased health problems.

By decarbonizing the transport sector, health inequality will also be addressed.

Also, encouraging people to cycle by providing protected cycle routes will significantly reduce the number of cars on the road which will, in turn, reduce carbon emissions and air pollution.

Green space

The majority of inhabitants in some African communities live in the most deprived inner-city areas which do not have public parks and green spaces.

Providing more green space and trees would extract excess carbon from the atmosphere and reduce air pollution. It would also reduce the impacts of deprivation, resolve health inequalities and create a strong community.

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