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Africa is suffering the most from the climate crisis

Africa is suffering the most from the climate crisis

In many ways, the global panic over Covid-19 in 2020 is a dress rehearsal for the moment when the majority of the world’s people collide with the destructive force of the climate crisis.

The über-storms and the arid croplands will spread like a malevolent ink stain across the world’s top food-producing countries, all set against a backdrop of the breakdown of water and supplies.

None of this is news to farmers across Africa, Asia and the Americas, who are paying the price for rich-­country insouciance. The resource wars of the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and over the Democratic Republic of Congo’s cornucopia of mineral riches are escalating, further threatening stability and social development.

Last year, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reinforced the urgency of the crisis after it found that African countries were spending between 2% and 9% of their GDP on climate adaption and mitigation. Extreme heat, drought and changes in rainfall will continue over the next few decades as the planet warms.

The WMO’s worst-case scenario forecasts a warming of 4°C by the end of the century, cutting Africa’s average GDP by between 7% and 12%: crop yields would decline by 13% in West and Central Africa and by 8% in East and Southern Africa.

A more moderate warming would cut average growth in Africa by between 3% and 8%. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says the number of undernourished people in drought-prone countries has increased by 45% since 2012.

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