Climate change in Africa can destabilize “whole countries and regions”

UN News

According to a new report released Thursday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), water stress and hazards such as devastating droughts and devastating floods are hitting African communities, economies and ecosystems hard.

The state of the climate in Africa 2021 reveals that precipitation patterns are disrupted, glaciers are disappearing and major lakes are shrinking.

And the growing demand for water, combined with limited and unpredictable supplies, threatens to worsen conflict and displacement.

“The deepening crisis and looming famine in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa show how climate change can exacerbate water shocks, threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and destabilizing communities, countries and communities. entire regions, said WMO General Secretary Petteri Taalas.

Temperature trends

The report shows how extreme weather and climate change undermine human health and safety, food and water security, and socio-economic development.

While Africa accounts for only about 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it suffers disproportionately.

With particular emphasis on water, The state of the climate reveals that high water stress is estimated to affect around 250 million people on the continent and displace up to 700 million by 2030.

Four out of five African countries are unlikely to have sustainably managed water resources by 2030.

“Africa’s climate has warmed more than the global average since pre-industrial times,” Taalas warned, noting that sea level rise along Africa’s coasts is faster than average. world.

He observed that this contributes to the increased frequency and severity of coastal flooding and erosion and salinity in low-lying cities.

“Changes in continental water bodies have major impacts on the agricultural sector, ecosystems, biodiversity,” the WMO chief said.

Make changes

Currently, only 40% of the African population has access to early warning systems against extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change.

For request of Secretary General António GuterresWMO is spearheading a campaign to ensure universal access to early warning over the next five years.

Meanwhile, climate action is gaining momentum.

Over 40 African states have revised their national climate plans to make them more ambitious and add greater commitments to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The state of the climate The report makes a number of recommendations, including to strengthen early warning systems, increase cross-border cooperation, data exchange and knowledge sharing.

He stresses that the need to invest more in adaptation is crucial, as is a concerted effort towards more integrated management of water resources.

The report was launched with support digital story map at a ministerial meeting on the Integrated Early Warning and Early Action System initiative in Maputo, Mozambique.

Distributed by APO Group for UN News.

Aubrey L. Morgan