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Climate Change in Eritrea


One political party, the Peoples Front for Democracy and Justice, controls the entire economy of Eritrea. Eritrea’s recent growth achievement has been characterized by considerable volatility, in part due to the country’s reliance on a primarily rain-fed agriculture sector, which accounts for approximately one-third of the economy (and has a major impact on distribution channels, which account for approximately 20% of GDP), and on a small mining sector that accounts for another 20% of GDP. Reports of inflation have been negative from 2016 to 2018. This is because in November 2015, there was a big change in the amount of money in circulation. Deflation kept going in 2018 because more trade with Ethiopia led to even more prices going down. Eritrea is dealing with a broad range of problems. As a consequence of land mines, there has been major land loss as well as desertification, soil erosion, overgrazing, and other environmental difficulties. Additionally, there is a lot of gold, copper, and zinc mining in the nation. Mining was the country’s only primary source of income for many years, and as a result, the national government actively promoted it. Eritrea population is small and it is still growing. However, the population is affected by famine and poverty. It is widely understood that Eritrea has vast deposits of oil and gas, but the government has made it clear that it has no intention of tapping into them. There are also undeveloped resources owing to Ethiopia’s three-decade-long fight for independence. Climate change has had a significant impact on Eritrea’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems. In the last 60 years, the average global temperature has risen by about 1.7 degrees Celsius, resulting in significant losses of biodiversity, an increase in sea level, and bleaching of coral reefs. This is due to rising sea temperatures, decreased food production, biodiversity loss, and a general weakening of the ecosystem.

Climate Politics

At the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Eritrea signed the Paris Agreement, which amends and replaces the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, on April 22, 2016. On behalf of Eritrea, Ambassador Girma Asmerom, Eritrea’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, signed the agreement on President Isaias Afwerki’s behalf. Eritrea has not yet ratified the Tokyo Agreement.

Eritrea is currently developing policies and activities connected to climate change. Some national policies and initiatives, on the other hand, focus on environmental concerns in their broadest meaning while having a direct impact on climate change. In addition to poverty reduction and environmental management, these policies and initiatives focus on issues such as environmental impact assessment and biodiversity protection and sustainable usage.

The Eritrean government has made significant efforts to responsibly manage the fragile environmental situation. The establishment of a nationwide soil conservation program was one of the major accomplishments of the period. Total prohibition on cutting live trees, hunting or taking wild animals, and manufacturing charcoal was instituted under this policy and is still in effect. On the other hand, in addition to these preventative steps. As part of the Warsay Yike’alo Campaign and the Community-based Afforestation Program (CBAP), large-scale public conservation efforts have been implemented over the past decade, resulting in 206,000 ha of permanent forest closures and the planting of more than 90 million tree seedlings; over 300 dams and millions of kilometers of hillside terracing have been constructed in various regions of the country.

Due to the fact that the natural environment and cultural legacy of a nation are two of its main draws for travelers, tourism may help spur conservation efforts. Tourism may cause environmental damage, economic losses, and social inequalities if it is not planned, developed, and managed properly, as the government is well aware. As well as preserving biodiversity, Protected Areas throughout the globe have been instrumental in bringing in millions of dollars in revenue for national development via tourism. As a result of protected areas created by the government, the community is able to benefit from the efforts of the government to preserve biodiversity and mitigate the effects of climate change on the environment.

Over the last several years, the Eritrean government, in collaboration with international development partners and other stakeholders, has invested in a variety of initiatives and programs to combat the devastating effects of climate change. The country’s farmers have greatly benefitted from these measures, which have made it easier for them to develop their land, assure their food security, and eventually earn a stable income.

For Eritrea, a low-income, developing nation situated in the dry and semi-arid Sahelian area, climate change adaptation and management are essential. This country is mostly rural and semi-agricultural, with the majority of its inhabitants reliant on agriculture for their livelihoods, and water shortage is a significant national problem. Even with the current climate change projections, the effects on Eritrea are significant, including: temperatures rising above 4 degrees Celsius by 2050; precipitation becoming increasingly unpredictable; water resources such as wells and runoff becoming increasingly scarce; an increase in the frequency of dry periods; an increase in the severity of droughts; and an overall decrease in soil moisture. When everything is said and done, these climate change consequences will have a significant influence on the country’s water resources, agriculture, and food security.

A changing weather pattern has been compounded by El Nio, which causes exceptionally high rainfall in some areas and drought in others. Eritrea has experienced this in recent years, as has most of the Horn of Africa. Scientists aren’t clear how human-caused climate change and the naturally occurring El Nino phenomenon interact, but evidence shows that global warming may be increasing the frequency and intensity of this cyclical occurrence.

The sycamore tree, seen on the Eritrean 5 nakfa currency, has special significance in Eritrea. A group of elders would meet under the shade of these enormous, centuries-old trees to discuss significant local concerns and legislation. An example of a larger issue may be seen in Eritrea’s current predicament. According to Unicef’s 2018 report on global food security and nutrition, Africa has the greatest and most complicated climate impact on food production and livelihoods. This is a clear indication that the Eritrea society is trying to understand the science behind climate change.

The mining, agriculture and fishing industry are industries that have been adversely affected by climate change in Eritrea. Many of Eritrea citizens depend on subsistence farming and changing weather condition have led to increased poverty in many parts of the country. The introduction of policies to curb climate change in Eritrea will have positive impacts in the agricultural sector because this means that farmers will be able to rely on rain for agricultural production. The mining sector will be impacted negatively by the introduction of policies that aim at protecting the environment because many companies that operate in Eritrea do not treat their waste and they do not conserve land after the mining process is over.

Statistics and formal proposal

There was a 1.91 percent rise in Eritrea’s greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions in 2018 compared to 2017. There was a 1.24 percent rise in Eritrea’s greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions in 2017 over 2016. In 2016, Eritrea’s ghg emissions were 7,250.00, an increase of 1.54% over 2015. There was a 2.19 percent decrease in Eritrea’s greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions in 2015, to 7,140.00.

Eritrea’s per capita CO2 emissions in 2020 were 0.13 tons of CO2. In recent years, Eritrea’s CO2 emissions per capita have varied wildly, but they have steadily decreased during the period from 1971 to 2020, concluding in 2020 at 0.13 tons of CO2.

Eritrea has promised to decrease greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, yet carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise, heating the Earth at an alarming pace.

By 2030, Eritrea wants to reduce emissions by 80.6 percent compared to business-as-usual. Three-hundred-and-nine-and-two-percent of this may be paid for using domestic resources. The objective is to increase renewable energy’s contribution in power production to 70%.

Transitioning to a carbon-free economy is how the Eritrean government intends to achieve its climate change-related objectives. Increasing the percentage of power generated from renewable sources is also a goal. According to the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) issued by Eritrea, the country is shifting its energy mix from fossil fuels to renewables and lowering transmission and distribution losses. Greenhouse gas emissions may be reduced by promoting ecologically friendly technology. As part of its overall energy strategy, the government is focusing on moving away from reliance on fossil fuels in favor of more sustainable options including solar, wind, and geothermal energy.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation are top priorities for the government, which is why it is working with important stakeholders from a variety of fields to adopt carbon-neutral, sustainable paths to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Net-zero by 2050 is an important goal, but it’s as important to ensure that communities have access to cheap, sustainable, and scalable renewable energy. As a result, we cannot overlook Eritrea’s huge potential for renewable energy resources. In order to guarantee the feasibility of a wide range of renewable energy portfolios that provide affordability, accessibility and flexibility, it is necessary to enhance access to inexpensive technologies. Fundamental prospects for Eritrea in clean energy sustainability include government and community ownership previously proven in delivering energy access initiatives with high replication and upscaling potential.

Eritrea is a developing country and there are special obligations that the country should make to reduce climate change. One obligation that Eritrea has to make is to introduce laws that control the use of natural resources. Eritrea is blessed with natural resources like oil and gas and firms that extract the oil contribute to higher levels of Carbon emissions. The government has the obligation to reduce carbon emission and this will reduce climate change.

Communities are already partnering with existing community organizations to offer dependable resources and ownership that will help to speed up implementation of the new policies. To illustrate how important it is to have a mix of public and private ownership when developing green energy systems, two 2.25 MW solar minigrids in the country’s south provide power to Areza and Maidma and 33 nearby off-grid communities. This is an excellent example of the importance of public-private partnerships and ownership in green energy projects. The government is making use of renewable energy resources and technology to broaden access to electricity in a way that benefits everyone and is embraced by the local community as a whole.

While the Ministry of Energy and Mines completely executes the $13 million project, the society provided labor and gave land to create the solar stations, increasing the usefulness of this project and the community’s ownership. More than 40,000 people who previously had no access to electricity, as well as 513 small businesses and better services in schools and health institutions, have benefited from the project’s funding from the European Union and the United Nations Development Program.

The distribution of energy efficient cooking stoves to women-headed homes has also had a positive impact on the lives of many people. These help to lowering fuel usage, decreasing deforestation rates, and improving good benefits on women’s health, including their engagement in basic household requirements. People’s life can be transformed when they have access to clean energy. It is important to strike a delicate balance between the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the urgent economic requirements.

As a result, Eritrea’s energy transition should be guided by multidimensional routes that take into account various circumstances and are essential for long-term implementation and flexibility. The world is at a critical juncture that needs bold and rapid action. Taking a different road from historical growth trajectories, Eritrea, a nation with little emission contribution, has the potential to lead the way toward securing a safe and sustainable future. Clean energy sources are at the heart of a revolutionary plan for moving ahead better as the nation recovers from the repercussions of COVID-19. The colossal problem is not whether, but how. To achieve the 2030-2050 goals Eritrea will have to collaborate with other countries that made the Glasgow declaration and the Paris agreement.


OECD. (2019). Trade and the Environment – OECD.

World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal. (n.d.).


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