Friday, September 30, 2022

Over 600 million Africans at risk of severe droughts due to climate change: Report

A report by the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) says “Funding climate adaptation is not only the right thing to do. It is also smart.”

• September 12, 2022
UK Drought Group

A recent report has estimated that over 600 million lives of people in Africa are at risk due to the growing severity and frequency of droughts occasioned by climate change.

The report “Africa is Doubling Down on Climate Adaptation. Here’s Why it Deserves Support” was co-authored by the president of the AfDB Group, Akinwumi Adesina and Patrick Verkooijen, the chief executive officer of the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA).

“Already, the lives of 600 million people who rely on rain-fed agriculture are at risk because of the growing severity and frequency of droughts. 

“Vast swaths of the continent will become unlivable unless we act now to protect people and livelihoods from the worst impacts of global warming”, the report stated.

The report also said Africa only had a tiny window to build resilience against climate change, adding that large parts of Africa would become uninhabitable. 

It also said on the current trajectory, global warming would cause an annual loss of up to four per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa by 2040. 

“Some nations are already spending the equivalent of 2.8 per cent of GDP to adapt to increasingly violent and unpredictable weather.

“This is an unfair burden. Africa, the continent that has contributed the least to global warming, is paying a steep price for the greenhouse gas emissions of the rich world.”

The report, however, noted that African governments were doubling down on climate adaptation. 

“Two years ago, they inaugurated the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP).

“This is with the aim of mobilising 25 billion dollars in adaptation investments by 2025. The African Development Bank has put up half of the funds already.”

It said that climate adaptation was Africa’s best chance to bring about a safer, greener and more prosperous continent. 

The report said that the programme was already investing in projects that made the livelihoods of farming communities more secure. 

It recalled that at COP26 in Glasgow, the global donor community promised to double finance for adaptation from the current rate of up to a quarter of climate finance flows earmarked for the developing world.

“But yet again, committed funds have fallen short. With only two months to go to the next climate summit, which will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, it is time for donors to honour their pledges.

“Funding climate adaptation is not only the right thing to do. It is also smart.”

Furthermore, the report also said the GCA calculated that for every dollar invested in climate-smart agriculture, as much as five dollars in benefits accrue. 

According to the GCA, just $15 billion per year invested in climate-smart agriculture can help avert 200 billion dollars in damages from floods, lost production and paying for disaster relief.

The centre further suggested that the international community invest in long-term climate resilience. 

(NAN)

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