Africa must step up climate action

By Charles Mkula

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warns that rising water demand combined with limited and unpredictable supplies threatens to aggravate conflict and displacement.

Water stress and hazards like withering droughts and devastating floods are undermining human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development. 

“Changes in continental water bodies have major impacts on the agriculture sector, ecosystems, biodiversity,” observes WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas

The State of the Climate in Africa 2021 report notes that high water stress is estimated to affect about 250 million people in Africa and is expected to displace up to 700 million people by 2030.

“Four out of five African countries are unlikely to have sustainably managed water resources by 2030,” it says.

Meanwhile, climate action is gaining momentum with more than 40 African countries having revised their national climate plans (Nationally Determined Contributions) to make them more ambitious and add greater commitments to climate adaptation and mitigation.

Although Africa contributes only 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it suffers disproportionately from the results and more than 83% of national climate plans including greenhouse gas reduction targets, with focus areas including energy, agriculture, waste, land use and forestry.

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