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The double challenge of adapting to climate change while accelerating development in sub-Saharan Africa

By RASHID HASSAN

Abstract

Accelerating economic growth and social development is necessary to reduce the vulnerability and enhance the adaptive capacity of sub-Saharan Africa to cope with the consequences of predicted unfavorable future climate. This requires major investments and policy reforms to induce a needed radical transformation of the way development is currently pursued to a more climate-sensitive path of low carbon growth. Key gaps in the current knowledge base that call for major investments and urgent attention include the ability to forecast more robust local future climate and to account for the uncertainties associated with climate risks for ecosystems' functions and probable nonconvexities in future impacts to project more plausible scenarios for future development in sub-Saharan Africa and provide better information on the costs and benefits of potential actions to avert the negative consequences of climate change.

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