Climate and Health Country Profile – 2015: Ethiopia

OVERVIEW

Ethiopia is a country with diverse climatic regions, ranging from lowland deserts and semi-arid zones to temperate zones and highland areas. Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa and despite extreme poverty has experienced recent economic growth and social development [World Bank, Country Overview, 2015]. However, Ethiopia is vulnerable to many of the effects of climate change, including increases in average temperature and changes in precipitation.
This threatens health, livelihoods and the progress that Ethiopia has made in recent years. Ethiopia was the first country to submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the UNFCCC and has strong plans to develop a green economy.

SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS

• Under a high emissions scenario, mean annual temperature is projected to rise by about 4.8°C on average from 1990 to 2100. If emissions decrease rapidly, the temperature rise is limited to about 1.3°C.

• Under a high emissions scenario, the number of days of warm spell ('heat wave') is projected to increase from about 10 days in 1990 to about 250 days on average in 2100. If emissions decrease rapidly, the days of warm spell, in 2100, are limited to about 85 on average.

• Under a high emissions scenario heat-related deaths in the elderly (65+ years) are projected to increase to over 65 deaths per 100,000 by 2080 compared to the estimated baseline of under 3 deaths per 100,000 annually between 1961 and 1990. A rapid reduction in emissions could limit heat-related deaths in the elderly to just under 12 deaths per 100,000 towards 2080.

• Under a high emissions scenario, diarrhoeal deaths attributable to climate change in children under 15 years old is projected to be about 9.6% of the over 42,000 diarrhoeal deaths projected by 2050. Although diarrhoeal deaths are projected to decline to about 15,500 towards 2070 the proportion of deaths attributable to climate change is projected to rise to approximately 14.1%.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION

Ethiopia has an approved national health adaptation strategy and has conducted a national assessment of climate change impacts, vulnerabiity and adaptation for health. Additionally,
Ethiopia has implemented actions to build institutional and technical capacities to work on climate change and health and is currently implementing projects on health adaptation to climate change. Country reported data (see section 6) indicate there are further opportunities for action in the following areas:

1) Adaptation

• Implement activities to increase climate resilience of infrastructure including health infrastructure.

• Estimate costs to implement health resilience to climate change.

2) Mitigation

• Conduct a valuation of co-benefits of health implications of climate mitigation policies.