Billions Needed to Climate-Proof Africa

By Stephen Leahy

BROOKLIN, Canada, Nov 6 (IPS) – Climate change will devastate Africa without substantial help from the world community, according to a new report released at the opening of a major U.N. climate change conference in Nairobi, Kenya Monday.

“Africa is the least responsible for climate change but will be hit the hardest,” said Nick Nuttall, spokesperson for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

New scientific data shows that Africa is more vulnerable to the impacts than previously thought, Nuttall told IPS from Nairobi.

Seventy million people and 30 percent of Africa’s coastal infrastructure face the risk of coastal flooding by 2080 linked to rising sea levels, the report found. More than one-third of the habitats that support African wildlife could be lost. Crop yields will fall due to warmer temperatures and more intense droughts.

By 2025, some 480 million people in Africa could be living in water-scarce or water-stressed areas.

“If Africa’s weather gets any more fickle, then they are in very deep trouble,” said Steve Sawyer of Greenpeace International. Sawyer is one of 6,000 people in Nairobi attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Full story here