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African Governments Asked to Tame Rising Temperatures

The report warns that without urgent action to reduce emissions, the occurrence of climate shocks and stresses in the Africa region are expected to get much worse adding that there is mounting evidence that higher temperatures have worsened drought and humanitarian disaster in East Africa.
The Report Projects Serious Poverty, Flooding, Wildfires and Droughts Which Will Disrupt Livelihoods Accross the World
Rising temperatures will push millions of people in Africa into poverty and hunger unless governments take swift action to reduce further greenhouse gas emissions.

This is according to a report released this morning by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report made reference to a series of natural disasters such as droughts and floods that have thwarted development across the continent and crippled rain-fed agricultural production driving more than 40 million people into absolute poverty. 

“The world has already passed 1 degrees  centigrade of warming, and we've seen the suffering this has contributed to – from killer heatwaves across the Northern hemisphere to destructive cyclones sweeping South East Asia. The IPCC report makes clear that a 1.5 degrees  centigrade  target should no longer be an aspiration, it is an absolute must, and the best we can hope for if we have any chance of protecting human rights in the coming years.”

It warns that without urgent action to reduce emissions, the occurrence of climate shocks and stresses in the Africa region are expected to get much worse adding that there is mounting evidence that higher temperatures have worsened drought and humanitarian disaster in East Africa.

“Climate change has set our planet on fire… hotter Africa is a hungrier Africa. Today at only 1.1 degrees of warming globally, crops and livestock across the region are being hit and hunger is rising, with poor small scale women farmers, living in rural areas suffering the most. It only gets worse from here, Apollos Nwafor, the Pan Africa Director of Oxfam International said in a statement this morning.

According to the report, 1.5 degrees warming by the 2030's could lead to about 40 percent of present maize cropping areas in sub-Saharan Africa, being no longer suitable for current cultivars, and significant negative impacts on sorghum suitability are projected. Under warming of fewer than 2 degrees by the 2050s, total crop production could be reduced by 10 percent.

At 2 degrees of warming, it adds, heat extremes never experienced before could affect 15 percent of sub-Saharan Africa's land area in the hot season, causing deaths and threatening farmers' ability to grow crops.

“Settling for 2 degrees would be a death sentence for people in many parts of Africa. The faster governments embrace the renewable energy revolution and move to protect communities at risk, the more lives and livelihoods that will be spared, Nwafor added.

He added that to do nothing more and simply follow the commitments made in the Paris Agreement condemns the world to 3 degrees of warming and that the damage of that to the planet and humanity would be exponentially worse and irreparable.

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement 197 countries agreed a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2  degrees  centigrade above pre-industrial levels. They also agreed to aim to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees .

"One of the key messages that come out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1 degree Celsius rise of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes," Panmao Zhai, the Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I said.

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees would require "rapid and far-reaching" transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities.