Ethiopia is currently experiencing one of its most severe droughts in decades following four consecutive failed rain seasons. The country has a high dependency on rainfed agriculture, and recent reductions in economic growth rates, rapid population growth, weak institutional capacity and high levels of conflict make it particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. While climatic conditions differ substantially across Ethiopia, the average temperature is projected to increase, and rainfall is expected to become more erratic. Ethiopia´s long history of drought, famine and locust outbreaks all further the need for increased capacity and resilience to cope with the projected impacts of climate change. Political instability and conflict have compounded the humanitarian situation in the country, hampering the ability of the Ethiopian Government to implement its climate adaptation and mitigation policies.
- Access to land and water has been linked to conflict among pastoralist and agropastoral communities in Ethiopia. Insufficient rainfall and prolonged droughts are likely to increase pasture shortages, and increased tensions might also cross borders if pastoralists are forced further into the Karamoja cluster area and potentially cross the border into South Sudan and Kenya.
- Ongoing conflicts, including inter-communal conflicts across the country and the armed conflict in the Tigray region, have exacerbated food insecurity and reduced capacity to adapt livelihoods to the consequences of climate change at both state and community levels.
- High levels of gender inequality in Ethiopia create barriers to climate adaptation for women and female-headed households; in many instances, women lack access to the financial, technical and other resources needed to adapt to climate change.
- Due to population growth, climate change and increasingly water-intensive agriculture, the flow of the Nile river is expected to fall below demand within decades.