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Kikwete Rallies African Countries On Climate Change

Tanzanian Jakaya Kikwete has said there is need for Africa to urgently stem the carbon emissions as well as temperature rises. Kikwete’s comments came shortly after a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) indicated that African countries are increasingly vulnerable to climate change and could struggle to feed and defend their people as temperatures rise.

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Tanzanian Jakaya Kikwete has said there is need for Africa to urgently stem the carbon emissions as well as temperature rises.

 

Kikwete was meeting ministers from various African countries under the African Ministerial Conference for Africa (AMCEN) in Warsaw Poland on Thursday.

 

//Cue in” All of us must…

Cue out…lower temperatures"//

 

President Kikwete said that because of the effects of climate change, some of the events that never used to be experienced are already happening in areas where they never used to happen .

 

//Cue in: “It is the first time..

Cue out…really have got to be serious."//

 

Kikwete’s comments came shortly after a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) indicated that African countries are increasingly vulnerable to climate change and could struggle to feed and defend their people as temperatures rise.

 

The UNEP emissions gap report was launched on Thursday at an African environment ministers' meeting in Warsaw, Poland. The report says it will cost Africa approximately 350 billion dollars a year to adapt its farming and infrastructure to climate change if governments fail to hold temperatures to less than two degrees Celsius and allow them to rise to about four degrees Celsius.

 

Speaking at the meeting, Uganda’s Water and Environment Minister, Ephraim Kamuntu, said Climate change in Africa is a reality and urged for all efforts to help countries to adapt or let their people die. Kamuntu said the cost waiting to provide Africa with technologies for adaptation would be much higher than if action was taken now.

 

The higher temperatures, according to the report, have greater financial and human challenge to adapt. It said at present policies point to temperatures rising to 3-4C by 2021 with likely catastrophic events.

 

A World Bank report also released in Warsaw at the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference warned that the costs and damages from extreme weather related to a warming planet are growing. It said that while all countries are impacted, developing nations bear the brunt of mounting losses in lives and livelihoods from increasingly severe floods, droughts, and storms.

 

Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice-President for Sustainable Development, told journalists that in the last 30 years, the world has lost over 2.5 million people and almost 4 trillion dollars to natural disasters. She said economic annual losses due to climate change are rising from 50 billion dollars in the 1980s, to just under 200 billion dollars in the last decade.

 

The report said loss and damages from disasters have been rising over the last three decades, from an annual average of around 50 billion dollars in the 1980s to just under 200 billion dollars each year in the last decade.

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