Africa at Risk

Climate change will hit Africa – a continent that has contributed virtually nothing to bring it about – first and hardest. Yet some developed countries, which contributed the most to the existing stock of atmospheric greenhouse gases, balk at paying adequate compensation to poor countries and regions, despite paying trillions of dollars to clean up their bankers' mess.

ADDIS ABABA – Climate change will hit Africa – a continent that has contributed virtually nothing to bring it about – first and hardest.

Aside from Antarctica, Africa is the only continent that has not industrialized. Indeed, since 1980’s the industrialization that had taken place in Africa has by and large been reversed. Africa has thus contributed nothing to the historical accumulation of greenhouse gases through carbon-based industrialization. Moreover, its current contribution is also negligible, practically all of it coming from deforestation and degradation of forests and farmland.

Yet climate change will hit Africa hardest, because it will cripple the continent’s vulnerable agricultural sector, on which 70% of the population depends. All estimates of the possible impact of global warming suggest that a large part of the continent will become drier, and that the continent as a whole will experience greater climatic variability.

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