720 million people will be pushed into poverty by the climate crisis. Most of these people will be Africans.
Over the past 100 years, temperatures across Africa have increased by an average of 0.5 – 2 degrees. The impact of this seemingly small change has been devastating. From extensive droughts in Eastern Africa to changing weather patterns that reduce crop yields in Malawi to rising sea levels that are sinking cities to cyclones in Mozambique, the impact of climate change on the African continent cannot be understated.
100 million people worldwide are already at risk of being pushed into poverty by climate change by 2030 – particularly across Sub-Saharan Africa. By 2050, this number stands at 720 million. Furthermore, even though African countries altogether are responsible for 2-3% of the global emissions, 65% of the African population will be negatively impacted by the consequences of climate change.
What is happening to Africa - what is going to happen to Africa - is a classic case of environmental racism. The African continent is essentially paying for the mistakes of the developed/industrialized/high-income nations. Did you know that the EU, America, and China together account for 61% of the world's total emissions? Did you know that the United States is the biggest polluter in all of history? Did you know that China recently overtook the United States as the largest carbon emitter? And yet Africa is the one that will face the most devastating consequences of man-made climate change.
It is high time that the developed/industrialized/high-income countries start to take climate change seriously and start putting in place policies and measures to mitigate it because their actions affect more than just them.
Header Image Credit: Time Magazine