IPCCC warns Africa could be hit hard as temperatures set to rise above 2 degree celcius,
A report released Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that without immediate global cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, average temperatures in Africa will rise more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050.
By this time, said the IPCC report, heat extremes never experienced before by humans in this part of the world could affect 15% of sub-Saharan Africa’s land area in the hot season, causing deaths and threatening farmers; ability to grow crops.
“If the world continues to warm at its current rate, global temperatures will rise by 1.5º C between 2030 and 2052. This will have catastrophic effects on water scarcity, global food production, and almost entirely wipe out global coral reef systems,” said the IPCC report.
The report is the result of the work of 91 dedicated lead authors and review editors from 40 countries, and the inputs of 133 contributing authors. This group assessed more than 6000 scientific publications on climate change and climate change mitigation strategies.
Climate change is a global challenge demanding global solutions. Climate change respects no borders; our actions must transcend all frontiers. Equity, inclusivity, and cooperation must underpin our collective response to meet the 1.5 degree target, with states acting in the same spirit that led to the Paris Agreement and the SDGs,” Former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said after the report was approved in Incheon, South Korea
The report found that pledges that governments made over the last three years are not enough to keep warming below 1.5 º C, even with ambitious and very challenging efforts after 2030.
Under the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, 197 countries agreed to hold the rise in average global temperature to well-below 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels; and to make efforts to limit the average rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees centigrade. South Africa has ratified the Paris Agreement, however, these pledges are well below what is needed to reach the 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature target.
Although the report found that this is not impossible, it will require unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society.
Limiting global warming to 1.5deg; implies reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by about 45% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels. This would require rapid and deep emission reductions in all sectors as well as the use of a wide range of technologies such as removing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Methods for doing this include: planting trees; bioenergy combined with carbon dioxide capture and storage; changed land management.