Due to a combination of political, geographic and social factors, the CAR is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and ranked 180 out of 181 countries in the ND-GAIN 2020 index . Climate change trends in CAR are expected to increase. The forecast predicts a slight increase and irregular variations in precipitation, while temperatures are expected to significantly increase with an annual average of 3.1 ° C to 5.7 ° C by the end of the century .
As CAR is very vulnerable to the impact of climate change, adaptation should be a priority for the country. The increase in rainfall and temperatures will hamper agricultural productivity as well as the forestry sector, both of which are essential to the economy of CAR. More rainfall will cause flooding, landslides and promote water-borne diseases, which are likely to cost human lives. The increased incidence of extreme rainfall will lead to soil erosion and waterlogging of crops, reducing yields and increasing food insecurity in CAR. In addition, temperature rise will increase periods of extreme heat in northern regions of CAR. Currently, higher temperatures and aridity threaten the country's water storage capacities, resulting in economic losses, damage to agricultural land and infrastructure as well as loss of life The political instability and poverty that underlie the country further exacerbates these problems. .
The Central African contributes only 0.002 % of global carbon emissions . Even though CAR’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is relatively small, emissions from agriculture, land use change and forestry, and energy, combined with strong emission growth from economic development, are increasing .
To estimate the sources of emissions, the inventory of greenhouse gases in 2010 as published in the Second Communication of the Central African Republic in 2016 is considered as reference data. Greenhouse gas emissions totaled 116,285.49 kt eqCO2 in that period. Emissions came mostly from land-use change and forestry (LUCF) which made up 89.46% of total emissions. Agriculture was the second highest source of emissions (5.26%). Other sources of emissions were 5.19% for energy (of which 4.91% was wood energy), 0.09% for waste and marginal amounts for industrial processes and use of solvents .
Key policies and governance approach
The government of the Central African Republic is making important strides in the fight against climate change. The CAR submitted its Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2016 and revised its National Determined Contributions (NDCs) in advance of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26). The Central African Republic is among the poorest countries in the world and as a non-Annex I Party to the UNFCCC, does not have a mitigation obligation. Nevertheless, the Central African Republic participate in the efforts of the international community and thus set an example . CAR submitted the revised NDCs to the UNFCCC and presented them at COP26 to demonstrate the country’s commitment to adaptation and to generate support from international and national actors.
CAR aspires to reduce its emissions by 5% (5,498.3 kt eq-CO2 of avoided emissions) and by 25% (33,076.1 kt eq-CO2), respectively, in the 2030 and 2050 horizons in comparison to its business-as-usual scenario and to increase its sequestration potential  . The Central African Republic also aspires to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP), which science has shown have a significant short-term climate-warming potential and harmful effects on health, agriculture and ecosystems. Along with the revised and submitted NDCs in 2021, The CAR has also made significant progress with its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and expect to submit its NAP document to the UNFCCC in the near future. The NAP process provides the opportunity to identify areas of vulnerability to climate change, prioritize adaptation solutions and capacity building, and mainstream adaptation in different areas of policy decision-making.
Successes and remaining challenges
Climate finance is a major issue for the CAR. Limited funding is available for climate change, and current domestic funding is insufficient to implement long-term sustainable adaptation and mitigation solutions.
The financing needs for mitigation are estimated at US $ 2.248 billion over the commitment period to 2050, of which US$ 2.022 billion is conditional . However, the CAR plans to contribute only 10 %. For adaptation, the financing needs are estimated at US$ 1.554 billion over the commitment period, of which US$ 1.441 is conditional and also 10% of the national contribution is envisaged .
Despite the financing needs, another challenge is the underestimation of the cost of the investments necessary for adaptation and mitigation in CAR, which keeps in place the development gap caused by climatic hazards in the country. The approach adopted by the FUND model, estimates the country's needs in terms of adaptation to climate change at an average of around US$ 34,500,000 per year until 2030 and an average of US$ 57,500,000 per year up to the year 2050. These are amounts far beyond current national estimates.
Initiatives and Development Plans
In addition, the CAR is committed to mainstreaming climate change into its development plans and strategies and to preparing the country's eligibility for the Green Climate Fund. To achieve its adaptation objectives, the CAR considers a holistic approach, integrating the adjustment of national policies and strategies, improvement of legislative and regulatory frameworks and capacity development.
Goals and Ambitions
The CAR is committed to integrating climate change into its development plans and strategies and aspires to reduce its emissions by 5% and 25% respectively, by 2030 and 2050 compared to its baseline.
- Improve capacities for collecting, analyzing and managing data on climate change at national and local levels;
- Conduct dedicated research on the existing resilience mechanisms of energy, agricultural, forestry and livestock systems in the country;
- Assess needs and develop a national technology transfer strategy to support NDC adaptation measures;
- Improve, support and strengthen the teaching of meteorology, climatology and general hydrology in higher education and university courses in natural sciences;
- Integrate climate change concerns into relevant policies and planning processes at state and national levels;
- Finalize and adopt the framework bill on the environment as well as outstanding nature conservation bills