At a time when climate change is emerging as the most critical environmental issue and a major threat confronting humanity, Non-Aligned Movement has continuously reaffirmed that this challenge needs an urgent eye of all its Member States and the rest of the world.
It has time and again expressed profound concern regarding the challenge that can pose threats to the very existence and survival of the countries and societies. Besides, many policies, schemes, strategies and programmes, put in place in order to enhance the adaptive capacity and reduce climate variability and change, Ethiopia’s Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) is one such initiative in the face of growing climate change threats that aims to protect the country from the adverse effects of these threats, including, temperature rise, floods and frequent droughts.
Launched in 2011 under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ethiopian Development Research Institute and the Environmental Protection Authority, the CRGE strategy sets the stage to build a green economy that aims to help the country address vulnerability and food insecurity as a developmental priority and helps raise the country’s economy to reach middle-income status by 2025, and that is resilient to climate change impacts with no net rising of the greenhouse gas emissions from 2010 levels.
Founded on the four pillars – improving crop and livestock production practices for increased food security and farmers’ income while cutting down emissions simultaneously, using renewable sources of energy to expand electricity generation for domestic as well as regional markets, switching to modern and energy-efficient technology in buildings, transport and industrial sectors and conserving and re-establishing forest cover for their economic and ecosystem services, the CRGE operates on a sectoral approach.
Based on the two national strategies – the Green Economy (GE) Strategy and the Climate Resilience (CR) Strategy, the initiative so far has identified and prioritised over 60 initiatives to help the country restrict 2030 GHG emissions to 150 Mt CO2e – around 250 Mt CO2e less than estimated under a conventional development plan and achieve its development goals. The program highly reflects Ethiopia’s strong commitment towards bypassing the conventional approach to economic development and setting the ground for green economy where development goals are achieved in a sustainable manner. The major focus in CRGE is laid upon the agriculture and forestry sectors as they constitute to be of great importance to national income and livelihood while contributing more than 40 per cent of the country’s GDP and around 80 per cent of all employment in the economy.
With an average increase of around 1 degree Celsius in temperature and variable rainfall, Ethiopia has shown broadly consistent trends of increasing temperatures over decades, due to which the current weather variability has posed threats of droughts, floods and soil erosion in the country. Thus, the merger of developing green economy and climate resilience agenda under a single policy framework is the opportunity that Ethiopia needed to seize. Successful development and implementation of the Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE) has been possible with the political commitment and continuous support from the government of Ethiopia.
Suggestive of the large cuts in emissions in all sectors of the economy, the CRGE aims to compensate for increases that so far have been witnessed in emissions in the industrial sector as well, keeping overall emissions below the current levels. The project requiring USD 150 billion till 2030, demands substantial funding and investment for its proper implementation.
Despite several challenges of being among the poorest nations across the world, Ethiopia’s unshaken commitment and its endeavours to improve the living conditions of its people are commendable. NAM Member States have highlighted their commitments towards tackling the climate threat and protecting the environment. While the active participation, support and cooperation of different organisations and individuals is quite significant in meeting the targets, the country calls for cooperation and support from domestic and international partners as well.