A new report warned Tuesday that Africa’s rare glaciers will disappear in the next two decades due to climate change, amid widespread expectations that the continent that contributes the least to global warming will suffer the most.
The report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other agencies, released ahead of the UN climate conference kicking off on October 31 in Scotland, is a stark reminder that 1.3 billion African people remain “extremely vulnerable” as the continent warms. faster than the global average.
But 54 countries in the region are responsible for less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The new report focuses on the receding glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda, as a symbol of the rapid and large-scale changes to come.
Current recovery rates are higher than the global average. If this continues, there will be a complete decadence in the 1940s.”
Mass displacement, hunger and increasing weather phenomena such as droughts or floods are part of the future, the WMO Secretary said, even though the lack of climate data in some parts of the continent “has a significant impact” on disaster warnings for millions of people. General Petrie Taalas at the presentation on Tuesday.
Estimates of the economic impacts of climate change vary across the continent, but “in sub-Saharan Africa, climate change could reduce GDP by up to 3% more by 2050,” says Josefa Lionel Correia Sacco, of the Africa Commission. Union, in the report.
Not only are the physical conditions deteriorating, but the number of people affected is also increasing.”
Sacco added that by 2030, as many as 118 million people living in extreme poverty, i.e. living on less than $1.9 a day, will be exposed to the effects, floods and extreme heat in Africa if appropriate response measures are not taken. .
The United Nations has already warned that on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, “the conditions of famine were being driven by climate change.”
Despite the looming threats to the continent’s future, their voices have been underrepresented by those of rich nations at global climate meetings and among authors of critical scientific assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In English).
African participation in this entity has been “extremely low,” according to Future Climate for Africa, a multinational research program.
The future costs are enormous.
“Overall, Africa will need investments of more than $3 trillion in mitigation and adaptation by 2030 to implement its (national climate) plans, which will require large, accessible and predictable conditional financing flows,” Taalas added.
“The cost of adapting to climate change in Africa will rise to $50 billion annually until 2050, even if international efforts are made to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius,” he added.
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