Historical GHG Emissions: Africa Across All Sectors

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The two principal sources of anthropogenic emissions fluxes in Africa are emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels and net emissions from land use change. Deforestation in tropical regions is the primary driver of changes in net emissions from land use change.

Africa contributed approximately 2.5% of global cumulative CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use during the period 1980-2005. Africa’s emissions profile is unique in its makeup, with low per capita emission from fossil fuel combustion, and significant emissions from deforestation.  Average total anthropogenic emissions in Africa during the period 2000-2005 were approximately 500 megatons of carbon (Tg C), 260 Tg C of which resulted from the combustion of fossil fuels, and 240 Tg C from land use change.

Fossil fuel emissions largely come from South Africa and Northern African countries. Emission from land use chance come primarily from less wealthy central African countries. A negative correlation exists between emissions from fossil fuel combustion and land use change. Countries with high fossil fuel usage have low emission from land use change, and vice versa. Africa’s 22 developed and developing countries emit 93% of total African CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, and the 33 Least Developed Countries are responsible for the remaining 7%.

Africa accounted for a third of tropical deforestation during the period 2000-2005, but only 17% of global CO2 emissions from land use chance. The discrepancy suggests that a greater proportion of African deforestation targets dry forest with low biomass.