Biomass burning in Africa: Role in atmospheric change and opportunities for emission mitigation

Document Type



East African Institute


A review of available literature published on biomass burning and trace gas emissions in Africa reveals household biofuel use, land use and land-use change to be the most important trace gas emission sources in Africa, contributing about 4% to the overall global C~ budget. This may not be significant in so far as altering global climate through temperature rise is concerned. However, through the contribution of about 35% of the global photochemical ozone formation, biomass burning in Africa significantly influences important atmospheric processes. Although the total greenhouse gas emissions from Africa are very low compared to those of other continents, countries on the continent could still contribute to global greenhouse gas mitigation efforts through ways that could simultaneously deliver urgent development needs.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication ( Name of Journal)

Climate Change and Africa