Projected yearly food imports by African countries due to adverse effects of global warming are to increase by about a factor of three, from $35 billion to $110 billion by 2025, a new report from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has shown.
It observed that the continent is responsible for only a fraction of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet suffers disproportionately from the problem.
The development, the report noted, is harming food security, ecosystems and economies, fuelling displacement and migration, as well as worsening the threat of conflicts on dwindling resources.
The State of the Climate in Africa 2022 report showed that temperature on the continent had increased in recent decades, with weather-and climate-related hazards becoming more severe. And yet, financing for climate adaptation is only a drop in the ocean of what is needed.
More than 110 million people in Africa were directly affected by weather, climate and water-related hazards in 2022, causing more than $8.5 billion in economic damage.
There were also reported 5,000 fatalities, of which 48 per cent were associated with drought, and 43 per cent with flooding, according to the Emergency Event Database. But the true toll is likely to be much higher because of under-reporting.
The document, produced jointly with the African Union Commission and Africa Climate Policy Centre of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), was released yesterday, during the Africa Climate Summit, which also saw the launch of the Early Warnings for All in Africa Action Plan.
Kenya, which is hosting the summit, also unveiled its State of the Climate in 2022 report.
Loss and damage cost on the continent due to climate change are forecast to range between $290 billion and $440 billion, depending on the degree of warming, according to the UNECA’s African Climate Policy Centre.
Climate change and the diminishing natural resource base could fuel conflicts for scarce productive land, water, and pastures, where farmer-herder violence has increased over the past decade due to growing land pressure, with geographic concentrations in many Sub-Saharan countries, according to the report.
The document, with an accompanying story map, is the result of a multi-agency effort. It includes input from the African Union Commission, UNECA and contributions from African National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, WMO Regional Climate Centres, specialised United Nations agencies, African Development Bank, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and numerous experts and scientists.
The average rate of warming in Africa was +0.3 °C/decade during the 1991 to 2022 period, compared to +0.2 °C/decade between 1961 and 1990. This is slightly above the global average. The warming has been most rapid in North Africa, which was gripped by extreme heat, thus fuelling wildfires in Algeria and Tunisia in 2022.
Many parts of the Sahel experienced significant flooding during the monsoon season, with Nigeria, Niger, Chad and the southern half of Sudan particularly affected, while the rate of coastal sea-level rise in Africa is similar to the global mean value of 3.4 mm/year. It is, however, slightly higher than the global mean along the Red Sea (3.7 mm/year) and along the western Indian Ocean (3.6 mm/year).
Per capita emissions of carbon dioxide on the continent in 2021 were 1.04 metric tons per person, compared with the global average of 4.69 metric tons. More than 50 African nations have submitted their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Agriculture and food security, water, disaster risk reduction and health are the top priorities for adaptation.
Implementing Africa’s NDCs would require up to $2.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030. AfDB has doubled its climate finance to $25 billion by 2025, and devoted 67 per cent of its climate finance to adaptation, in addition to its effort to raise up to $13 billion for its Africa Development Fund.