The United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP 25) in Madrid, Spain, has heard that African countries need financial and material help to cope with climate change.
Many Southern African countries – including Zimbabwe and South Africa are battling severe drought. Africa is responsible for only 4% of global carbon emissions but is suffering the worst effects of climate change.
Scientists believe temperatures will increase two-fold in Africa compared to the rest of the world if climate change isn’t mitigated.
African Group of Negotiators’ Chairperson Mohammed Nasr says Africa is already feeling the brunt of climate change.
“African countries are paying between 2% to 9% of their GDP’s just to deal with adaptation impacts. So Africa is already paying to deal with an issue that Africa did not create, historically. Africa has the lowest carbon footprint even as countries. So we are paying already a lot.”
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Meanwhile, University professor and co-author of the “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency”, William Moomaw, said that current global commitments are not enough to reverse the effects of climate change.
Global net carbon emissions have to decrease by 7.6% every year, said Moomaw, eventually reaching 45% by the year 2050.
A study which was co-authored by Moomaw and published in the Bioscience journal in November warned of ‘untold suffering’ due to climate change. The study was endorsed by 11,000 scientists.
Parties involved in climate negotiations in Madrid are hoping to resolve outstanding issues related to carbon emissions by the end of the two-week United Nations conference, known as COP25.
The main challenge for negotiators will be disagreement and uncertainty surrounding a provision in the 2015 Paris agreement labeled Article 6, which puts a price on emissions, therefore allowing them to be traded between countries.
Around the world, extreme weather ranging from wildfires to floods is being linked to manmade global warming, putting pressure on the summit to strengthen the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on limiting the rise in temperature. – Additional Reporting Reuters