MOBASA, Kenya (AP) — From drought to cyclones and rising sea levels, the cost of climate change damage in Africa will only increase as the world warms, fueling concerns from activists and officials about the how will they pay
Africa’s island and coastal states – and the 116 million people who inhabit them – will be highly exposed to rising seas and cost an estimated $50 billion in damages by 2050, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.
He added that drought over the past 50 years in the Horn and southern Africa, exacerbated by climate change, has killed more than half a million people, with losses estimated at $70 billion. More than 1,000 floods in the same time period claimed more than 20,000 lives, it said.
The report’s findings have sparked renewed calls for compensation for the continent from many who believe rich nations that emit far more of the planet-warming gases into the atmosphere should foot the bill for climate disasters, known as “losses and damages”. in the climate negotiations.
“As a continent we believe that the issue of loss and damage needs to be addressed,” said Harsen Nyambe, director of sustainable environment at the African Union. “It’s a controversial issue and developed countries are afraid because it has serious economic implications.”
The failure to create a “damage and damage fund” means African countries “are without recourse or compensation from the rich nations most responsible for climate change,” said a report by the charity Mo Ibrahim Foundation released earlier this year.
Negotiations on loss and damage were a focal point at last year’s UN climate conference and are expected to feature prominently again this year at November’s climate summit, known as COP27, to be held in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm. El Sheikh.
Africa is expected to join other developing nations from Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific at COP27 who have come together under the Climate Vulnerable Forum to address the issue of loss and damage and seek compensation.
The bloc, chaired by Ghana, was established in 2009 and brings together 48 of the world’s most climate-vulnerable developing countries that have a combined population of 1.2 billion but a collective share of global emissions of just 5%.
“Our continent is facing loss of lives and livelihoods and damage to our lands and communities,” Kenyan climate activist Elizabeth Watuti told The Associated Press.
In addition to droughts and floods, the continent has also experienced extreme heat, cyclones and sandstorms, degrading soils due to changing weather conditions and loss of biodiversity.
“Vulnerable countries cannot afford to adapt to these intensifying climate impacts, which makes climate finance a matter of global justice,” Wathuti added.
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