11 October 2018

ECA Warns On Imminent "Climate Catastrophe"

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Nairobi, Kenya (ACPC) - The Coordinator of the African Climate Policy Center of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ACPC/ECA), James Murombedzi warns of an imminent "climate catastrophe" following the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Mr. Murombedzi warns about Africa's "climate catastrophe", if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse emissions, "at the 7th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA) that kicked off Wednesday in the Kenyan capital.

Based on the latest IPCC report showing 1.5% warming, Murombedzi says "The world is heading for disaster if no immediate action is taken to stop greenhouse gas emissions."

Climate change is cross-cutting. This concerns all aspects of life and our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, or even all the aspirations of Agenda 2063, is limited by climate change.

"Because of its cross-cutting nature, climate governance is complex and requires the participation of multiple stakeholders with sometimes conflicting interests," said Murombedzi.

According to Mr. Murombedzi, the latest IPCC report, "which confirms what we already experience in Africa," raises serious concerns.

Among the main conclusions of the report, Mr. Murombedzi recalls that "climate change is happening much faster than expected and global warming goes beyond all our efforts to solve it".

"The effects of global warming are also already much larger than expected, especially in developing countries and we will have to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030," he added.

"We have less than 12 years to achieve this goal. And to have a 50% chance to stay within 1.5 degrees, the world must become carbon neutral by 2050, in just 32 years," he said.

Avoiding a disaster will require a major transformation of society and the global economy on an unprecedented scale, said Murombedzi.

Citing the same report, Murombedzi reveals that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees will cost $ 2.4 billion in global energy system investment each year between 2016 and 2035 (equivalent to 2.5 % of World Gross Domestic Product).

"Not doing anything will cost a lot, a lot more! We must all be involved in solving this problem. We have sufficient knowledge of the causes of global warming and the science is conclusive, "he insisted, stating that there must be no room for inaction in the face of climate change threats.

Launched on Wednesday, the seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA) focuses on the theme, "Climate Change and Development in Africa: Policies and Actions for the Effective Implementation of the Paris Agreement for resilient African economies".

An initiative of the African Center for Climate Policy of the Economic Commission for Africa (ACPC/ECA), this conference, the most important on climate change in Africa, sets a goal this year to examine African Nationally Determined Contributions in order to define feasible plans of action for them.

The conference, which ends on Friday, was preceded by several preparatory and parallel meetings.

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