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Climate adaptation costs dampen Africa’s shot at survival

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Climate adaptation costs dampen Africa’s shot at survival

Climate change is here with us, influencing our way of life, adding a new level of risk to our lives, and threatening our very existence.


However, the level of risk that climate change poses to lives varies from country to country as most developing and underdeveloped countries (comprising of poor communities and weak purchasing power) have it worse off.


Take Africa for example, a region with some of the world’s poorest who have contributed little to greenhouse gas emissions than people in developed countries. The continent is already one of the worst affected and the situation is expected to worsen in the coming years as rising temperatures will cause major disruptions in agriculture, especially in tropical areas.


Inadequate rainfall or excess rainfall is inhibiting crop growth and pests that increasingly thrive in a warmer climate are destroying crops.


Already, the world is faced with a growing population, and global food demand is expected to increase by 60% by 2050.


How can we meet demand when climate change is causing a decline in harvests and straining food systems and increasing hunger and poverty?


The sad part is that, although these changes are affecting both farmers in rich and poor countries, poor farmers are suffering the most as they do not have the tools and financial instruments to manage the risks whereas, whereas farmers in rich countries can insure their crops to protect themselves from losses or employ strategies like planting drought-resistant crops or using sophisticated soil testing to make their land more productive.


According to a study by Power Shift Africa, Adapt or Die: An Analysis of African Climate Adaptation Strategies, African countries will spend an average of 4% of GDP on adapting to the challenges of climate change.


For a country like Sierra Leone (which is responsible for just 0.2 tons of carbon emissions) to adapt to the climate crisis, it will have to spend $90 million a year to adapt to the climate crisis. This is an issue that needs to be addressed because big polluters like the United States and Europe, generate about 80 times more emissions but have the financial backing to adapt to the crisis.


The world needs to be more aware of the problems in African countries and seek ways to help them adapt to the crisis.

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