What is the real impact of climate change in Africa? Can climate change affect to one of the regions with more energy poverty?
This year Africa hosts the 22th edition of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP22). Marrakech hosts the conference for the second time since 2001 when it hosted the COP 7. This will be the fourth time that Africa is hosting the governing body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
What is the real impact of climate change in Africa? Can climate change affect to one of the regions with more energy poverty? Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, warned at COP21 about Africa’s vulnerability to climate change.
Africa is threatened by the changes in food production or water supply. These pose serious risks to the economy and political stability. This is why, noted the Secretary General of the UN, the African countries actively participate in international discussions on climate change. That is why African countries give priority to adjustment strategies and mitigation of climate change in their agendas.
“Sustainable energy supply offers great economic opportunities. With the falling prices of solar energy and other renewable sources, many African countries are choosing greener options that also allow them to satisfy the growing demand for energy “
7 out of 10 most threatened countries by the effects of global warming are in Africa. The index of vulnerability to climate change developed by the British Cabinet risk analysis Verisk Maplecroft. Among the countries most threatened by climate change are: Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Chad, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
Paradoxically the African continent, with 54 countries, is responsible for only 3% of emissions of greenhouse gases.
Africa has ⅕ of all known fauna and flora. This wealth is threatened by rampant urbanization and demography and climate change.
In 2001 a study conducted by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) revealed some obvious effects of global warming in Africa. Kilimanjaro 1912 frost cover has been reduced by 82%. Lake Chad covers now about 10% less surface that in 1960.
Not all climate change effects in Africa are that evident. The World Bank notes that if the global average temperature increases between 1.5 C and 2 ° C, not only drought and aridity in Africa will worsen, but between 40% and 80% of the crops of maize, millet and sorghum will be lost between 2030 and 2040. The agency also warn about the risen of global temperature to 4 ºC by 2080, which will mean a reduction of 30% of precipitation for southern Africa and an increase in East Africa.
The translation of these data can be catastrophic. The United Nations believe that in 65 years Arid and Semi-Arid Land will increase between 5% and 8%. This means an increase of insects that transmit diseases such as malaria and cholera. Deaths as a result of climate change will only increase.
The goal is clear, we must stop the increase of global temperature. The signing of the Paris Agreement at COP21 and its entry into force on November 4 are the first steps to save the planet and future generations. There’s still much to do. It’s action Time