Editor’s Note: December 03, 2018

Who cares about COP24?

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP24, kicks off in Katowice, Poland, today.

The gathering is the most important round of negotiations in years, marking the deadline to agree a program of implementation for the landmark 2015 Paris agreement’s core aim of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The pressure is on.

Emissions are on the rise for the first time in years according to the UN, which last month warned that “unprecedented changes” are needed to get anywhere near the 1.5°C. Meanwhile the US’s planned withdrawal from the agreement continues to frustrate already stalling efforts.

This paints a picture of waning interest. Worrying, especially for Africa, the world’s most vulnerable region to the impact of climate change.

This was underlined by a recent study warning that 79 cities on the continent are at “extreme risk” from climate change. This includes the likes of Lagos, Kinshasa, and Addis Ababa.

From damage to infrastructure and assets, to civil unrest and disease, this means as much as 48% of the continent’s GDP is at risk.

How much progress can be expected from COP24 is debatable, but events in Poland should be followed closely.

From The Continent

South African finance minister Tito Mboweni has said restoring the country's prized investment grade rating is “priority number one” for the government's efforts to revive the country's recession-hit economy. Ratings agencies Fitch and S&P downgraded South Africa to 'junk’ under President Jacob Zuma, who was removed from office in February. More: Bloomberg

Kenya’s treasury secretary Henry Rotich has said the country's borrowing remains manageable in a bid to counter concerns about rising debt, which has more than doubled to $50.2bn in the last six years. In October the IMF raised Kenya's risk of debt distress from low to moderate. More: Bloomberg

The Daily Stat


The seating capacity of Zimbabwe's new Chinese-funded parliament, to be built outside the capital Harare. More: Africanews

The Global Perspective

Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to extend the 'OPEC Plus' output reduction deal into 2019 following talks during the G20 meeting in Argentina over the weekend. Oil prices have fallen by more than 30% since October amid rising US production levels. More: Channel News Asia

The IMF has approved a $172m loan programme for Sierra Leone to shore up macroeconomic stability and support structural reform. The country is the latest  on a growing list on the continent seeking support from the lender amid fears of a new debt crisis. More: Reuters

The Daily Follow

@wef: News and updates from the World Economic Forum.