African experts urge robust action on rising temperatures to save livelihoods

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-12 00:19:27|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Governments and industries must double efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions in order to halt rise in atmospheric temperatures that is posing serious threats to livelihoods and natural assets in Africa, experts said on Thursday.

They made the call at a pan African Climate summit in Nairobi.

The experts agreed that the future of African communities is at stake as a warming planet trigger recurrent droughts, food shortages, new epidemics and disruption to ecosystems.

Yacob Mulugetta, an Ethiopian scholar and lead author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on global warming, said that rising temperatures will reverse socio-economic gains African countries have made in recent times.

"Global temperatures rise that has been influenced by human activities is having profound consequences in Africa where extreme weather events have occurred with bigger intensity," said Mulugetta.

"Actionable targets to limit greenhouse gas emissions are inevitable in order to enhance climate resilience for African communities," he added.

Mulugetta said that the international community has a moral obligation to support climate change mitigation and adaptation in Africa through deployment of green technologies and awareness creation.

The UN IPCCC report that was launched on Oct. 8 in Incheon, South Korea stated that failure to limit emission of planet warming gases is likely to worsen droughts, poverty, hunger and disease outbreaks in the least developed countries majority of which are in Africa.

Mulugetta warned that rising temperatures will adversely affect power generation, tourism, infrastructure development and human settlements in the World's second largest continent.

"Limiting the atmospheric temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius is not an option if we are to save communities, nature and livelihoods in vulnerable African countries," Mulugetta said.

Mark Majodina, Regional Representative for the World Meteorological Organization, said that action on atmospheric warming should be embedded in Africa's development agenda.

"Basic scientific evidence reveal that Africa is warming rapidly hence worsening the vulnerability of communities to extreme weather events. Putting a cap on carbon emissions is key to enhance the resilience of populations," said Majodina.

African countries should be at the center of global conversations on innovative ways that should be adopted to halt warming of the planet that has escalated against a backdrop of consumption of fossil fuels to power industrial growth.

Laban Ogallo, a Kenyan Climate Scientist, said that less costly but effective options including reforestation, clean manufacturing, protection of watersheds and adoption of renewable energy sources, have the potential to accelerate low carbon development in Africa.