Monday, November 26, 2012

Climate change hits Africa

Sarah Bomkapre Kamara in Deutsche Welle: Africa is reeling from climate change. Floods, drought, famine, food shortages are buffeting the vulnerable continent, which lacks the resources to protect itself. A UN climate conference has just opened in Qatar.

Climate change is already hitting the continent hard. Floods in Nigeria, famine and drought in the Sahel, the shrinking of Lake Turkana are all just a preamble of what is to come if the continent does not act fast. As the two week UN climate conference gets underway in Doha, Qatar, the African UN regional group at these talks is hoping for a "second commitment" and funds that will help their countries adapt to climate change and its effects.

"African countries are looking forward to a commitment period that doesn't carry over excessive emission rise or hot air," Ruth Mhlanga, youth and solutions coordinator, Greenpeace Africa told DW's Africalink show.

This commitment is an extention of the Kyoto protocol of 1997 which binds developed nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an average 5.2 percent below 1990 levels between the years 2008 and 2012. The African UN regional group at the conference says failure to extend Kyoto would leave only national actions, with no legally binding U.N. framework.

A UN survey warns the world is on target for a rise in temperatures that will cause more floods, drought, heat waves and rising sea levels. Africa should prepare for the worst. "The average increase in temperature in Africa is likely to be higher than the average increase globally," Micheal Kliene, deputy executive director of IUFRO - The World's Network of Forest Science told DW....

On the road to Timbuktu in Mali, shot by Annabel Symington, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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