According to CNN, The unrelenting drought that has devastated the Horn of Africa and left more than 20 million people facing acute food insecurity would not have been possible without climate change, a new analysis has found.
Since October 2020, this part of East Africa, one of the world’s most impoverished regions, has been gripped by its worst drought in 40 years as an unprecedented five consecutive rainy seasons have failed.
The drought has brought catastrophic impacts to large areas of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia: Tens of thousands have died, crops have shriveled, livestock have starved and chronic hunger and water insecurity are widespread and growing.
The Horn of Africa, they found that planet-heating pollution caused by burning fossil fuels has made the region’s ongoing agricultural drought 100 times more likely – and that’s a conservative estimate, they said.
Higher temperatures have significantly increased the amount of water evaporating from plants and soils, according to the study, causing crop losses, livestock death and water shortages.
The planet’s average temperature is now around 1.2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels of the late 1800s. Without that warming, the region would not have experienced this severe agricultural drought, the report found.
From devastating cyclones and floods to an unrelenting drought, African countries are spending between 2% and 9% of their budgets to respond to extreme weather events, according to a report released by the United Nations.
A committee of experts shared the findings at the annual U.N. conference of African ministers of finance and economic planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Climate change is having a devastating impact on Africa’s economies, and the situation is expected to worsen in the coming years,” Antonio Pedro, the acting executive secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa told The Associated Press.
Climate change, alongside the war in Ukraine and a global economic slowdown have been identified as key factors that have led to Africa’s economic decline from a growth of 4.6% in 2021 to just 3.6% in 2022, the U.N. report said.
The meeting comes as weather extremes are crippling parts of the continent: A punishing cyclone in Malawi and Mozambique has so far claimed more than 225 lives, displaced over 100,000 people and destroyed infrastructure and property. In the east and Horn of Africa, a debilitating drought has put the region on the throes of a famine.
Africa contributes less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions despite being home to 17% of the world’s population. Many nations have limited capabilities to deal with the impacts of climate change. Some estimates say the continent will need investments of over $3 trillion by 2030 to adequately adapt to climate change and curb emissions.
Is there finally going to be something done about this?
The UN COP28 chief and head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Sultan Al Jaber has outlined a plan to “supercharge” global climate finance and finally deliver the long-awaited $100 billion to help developing nations adapt to climate change.
Speaking at the Petersburg Climate Dialogue in Berlin on Tuesday, the UAE’s president-designate of the upcoming UN climate conference urged wealthy nations to deliver on a commitment made 14 years ago to donate $100 billion per year from 2020 to developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change to support their climate adaptation efforts.
For the first time in nearly three decades of COP meetings, health issues with also be taken into account, Al Jaber announced on Tuesday.
“We will be the first COP to dedicate a day to health and the first to host a health and climate ministerial,” he said. “And we need to broaden our definition of adaptation to enable global climate resilience, transform food systems and enhance forestry land use and water management.”
Are these still going to remain empty promises or something different will be witnessed? Watch out for COP28.