Climate think tank, Power shift Africa has responded to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on climate adaptation saying it is a fire alarm for the planet, earth.
Power Shift Africa’s Director, Mohamed Adow, who raised this alarm in a statement sequel to the report released on Monday said it is a wake-up call that must be treated as an emergency.
He said, “This IPCC report is a fire alarm for the planet. We all know we are in a climate crisis, but this is a wake-up call that we’re facing an adaptation crisis too.”
Continuing, Adow said, “As a species we are currently failing to adapt to this changing world. Or more accurately, the rich, polluting, global north has changed the planet through fossil fuel burning and is now refusing to help those suffering the effects.”
He said the report shows that the rich world needs to radically increase adaptation support to those on the front lines of this emergency, adding that, “With 2022 seeing the UN climate summit, COP27, taking place in Africa, this is the perfect year to address the adaptation crisis.”
On Saturday, Power Shift Africa published a new study, revealing the true scale of the problem that some African countries are already facing.
Adapt or die: An analysis of African climate adaptation strategies examines the National Adaptation Plans submitted to the UNFCCC by seven African countries; Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan and Togo.
Findings from the study show that, despite hardly contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions, African governments are having to spend, already stretched resources, on climate adaptation.
The study shows that African countries, four of which are in the list of 15 poorest countries in the world, are to spend up to 5.6% of GDP on climate adaptation for a crisis they did not cause.
Sierra Leone, for instance generates just 0.2 tons of CO2 per capita – 80 times less than the US – yet will have to spend $90 million a year on climate adaptation. Ethiopia will be spending $6 billion a year on climate adaptation, 5.6% of its GDP
South Sudan, the second poorest country in the world according to the IMF, is set to spend $376 million on adaptation every year about 3.1% of its current GDP.
According to its National Adaptation Plan, Sierra Leone is the third most vulnerable country to climate change, yet the average person there generates just 0.2 tons of CO2 per person, 80 times less than that of the average American of 16.1 tons. Sierra Leone will be spending $90m a year on adaptation, 2.3% of its GDP, which could be used to tackle poverty and other challenges.
Currently, Ethiopians are experiencing drastic climate change impacts, ranging from floods and diseases to hailstorms and wildfires. Droughts have become more severe, putting millions of lives at risk every year. The country, according to the report, will be spending $6 billion on adaptation a year, which equates to 5.6% of its GDP.
“This report shows the deep injustice of the climate emergency. Some of the poorest countries in the world are having to use scarce resources to adapt to a crisis not of their making,”Adow said.