Report Warns of Climate Change-Induced Disasters in Coming two Decades in Africa

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The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued the second part of its 6th Assessment Report, focusing on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability has warned of multiple climate change-induced disasters in the next two decades in Africa and worldwide.

According to a statement of UN Economic Commission for Africa issued yesterday, this timely report warns of multiple climate change-induced disasters in the next two decades, even if strong action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It also further notes that the ability of human beings and natural systems to cope with the changing climate is reaching its limits. 

It warned that further rise in global warming would make it even more difficult to adapt.

The report that made an assessment of regional and sectoral impacts of climate change for the first time stated that the most vulnerable people and systems are disproportionately affected across sectors and regions.

More than 3.5 billion people or over 45 percent of the global population live in areas highly vulnerable to climate change, the report noted.  

“Africa is identified as one of the vulnerable hotspots, with several regions, towns and cities facing very high risk of climate disasters such as flooding, sea-level rise, heat-waves, and water stress.”

Sub-Saharan Africa will be particularly affected, with increased incidence of vector-borne and water-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, it added.  

The report pointed out that, climate change is contributing to humanitarian crises where climate hazards interact with high vulnerability, adding that climate and weather extremes are increasingly driving displacement in all regions.

Flood and drought-related acute food insecurity and malnutrition have increased in Africa, it further pointed out.  

The report shows that worldwide, climate change is increasingly affecting marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems and ecosystem services, water and food security, settlements and infrastructure, health and wellbeing, and economies and cultures.

The IPCC report also for the first time assessed the health impacts of climate change, and projects that climate-sensitive food-borne, water-borne, and vector-borne disease risks will increase under all levels of warming.

Between 2010-2020, human mortality from floods, droughts and storms was 15 times higher in highly vulnerable regions, compared to regions with very low vulnerability.