Climate Change Threat is increasing across Africa

Climate change led to rising food insecurity, poverty, and displacement in Africa last year, according to a report released on Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and partners. 

The State of the Climate in Africa 2020 report underlines Africa’s disproportionate vulnerability, but it also demonstrates how investing in climate adaptation, early warning systems, and weather and climate services may pay off. 

Climate indicators in Africa in 2020, according to WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, are defined by ongoing warming temperatures, accelerating sea-level rise, extreme weather, and climate disasters such as floods, landslides, and droughts. 

Only three African mountains have glaciers: the Mount Kenya massif, Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains, and Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Despite the fact that the glaciers are too small to serve as important water reservoirs, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) emphasised their tourist and scientific value. 

Their retreat rates are currently faster than the global average, and “total deglaciation” by the 2040s may be probable. 

According to the organisation, Mount Kenya is likely to deglaciate a decade sooner than expected, making it one of the first complete mountain ranges to lose glacial cover as a result of human-caused climate change. 

WMO, the African Union Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) via the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), UN agencies, and international and regional scientific organisations collaborated on the report. 

It was released at the WMO Congress’s special session, which is presently taking place online, and ahead of the UN’s COP26 climate change summit, which begins in less than two weeks in Glasgow, Scotland. 

Increased weather and climatic variability are hurting lives and economies, according to Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commission Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture. 

Drought, floods, and excessive heat are expected to affect up to 118 million extremely poor people on the continent by 2030, obstructing efforts toward poverty alleviation and prosperity. 

According to the analysis, climate adaptation investments in Sub-Saharan Africa will cost between $30 and $50 billion each year over the next decade, or around 2% to 3% of GDP. 

According to the authors, as part of the post-pandemic recovery, the quick implementation of African adaptation measures will spur economic development and create more jobs. Following the principles of the African Union’s green recovery plan would allow for both long-term recovery and effective climate action.