250 Million People to be Permanently Displaced by Climate Change.

 

 

Africa will be hit hard.

In 2015 Hillary Clinton,  the former US secretary of state, warned about water wars in which rival governments will fight over natural resources. John Kerry also a former secretary of state, even went as far as to talk about ‘climate refugees’.  “You think migration is a challenge to Europe today wait until you see what happens when there’s an absence of water, or one tribe fighting against another for mere survival,” he said.  Climate change is a huge reality in Africa

 

From Rusana Philander in Cape Town, TZ Business News.

 

Just as imagining another earth is impossible, the world does not have much time to combat climate change. This while the African continent is particularly economically vulnerable due to its high reliance on agriculture and natural resources. And because sea levels are alarmingly rising, there has been an urgent call to improve infrastructures.

Climate change will affect food security, the productivity of commercial agriculture and commodity exports. And because water will become a scarce commodity due to frequent droughts its price will also increase drastically.

One example of a country which has not quite adapted to climate change is Tanzania. It is estimated that will lead to a loss of nearly two percent of GDP each year, by 2030. According to UK Aid the adaptation to climate change “can reduce the economic costs of climate change, but it has a cost.  The costs of adaptation are still emerging but adaptation needs could be high for Tanzania. There is a strong justification for adaptation financing; however, accessing new funds will require the analysis of the options and the costs of adaptation.”

Kumi Naidoo the former Director of Greenpeace and a fighter for a green economy, explained that only about 10% of business leadership in South Africa actually fully “get it. They acknowledge that the current system of doing business is unsustainable and that there have to be massive changes in the business environment. They recognise that climate change is a game-changer. They’re willing to make changes and want government to take the lead in terms of regulatory changes.

“On the other end of the spectrum, another 10% to 15% of the heads of business are still trying to raise questions and doubts around the veracity of climate change and inequality claims,” he explained.

According to the National Department of Environmental Affairs, global warming will most likely also affect Africa’s Millennium Development Goals of eradicating poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Climate change is the reason for droughts, floods and change in weather patterns.

Over the years we have seen more frequent natural disasters and desertification, which make it impossible to plant food and also lead to the death of livestock.  It is estimated that one billion people worldwide could be forced from their homes by 2050. This will lead to 250 million people being permanently displaced by climate change.

Former President Barack Obama, is known for his position that climate change “is the greatest long-term threat facing the world, as well as a danger already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. “Many countries is now of the opinion that climate change is a major threat.

But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change. They’ll be busy dealing with its effects. “With more environmental disasters, more economic disruptions. Waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. When you see severe environmental strains of one sort or another on cultures, on civilizations, on nations, the by-products of that are unpredictable and can be very dangerous. If the current projections, the current trend lines on a warming planet continue, it is certainly going to be enormously disruptive worldwide,” Obama said.

In 2015 Hillary Clinton the former US secretary of state, warned about water wars in which rival governments will fight over natural resources. John Kerry also a former secretary of state, even went as far as to talk about ‘climate refugees’.  “You think migration is a challenge to Europe today wait until you see what happens when there’s an absence of water, or one tribe fighting against another for mere survival,” he said.

Kumi Naidoo, Former GreenPeace Director

Climate change is a huge reality in Africa and it is estimated that Africa will be the hardest hit by it in terms of food production. The continent is experiencing more intensified droughts and floods. It is said that it could lead to political and resource conflicts in Africa. The Centre for International  Governance Innovation in said that climate and environmentally “related disasters which threaten human security can induce forced migration and produce competition among communities and nations for water and basic resources. It is estimated that South Africa may experience water shortages for a period of up to 16 years.

It is only until recent years that South African authorities have really started looking into the matter. According to the former Deputy Minister of Water and  Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the problems of the coming century are not receiving adequate attention. “Some scientists rank desertification and deforestation third amongst environmental issues requiring attention.

As we know now, Africa will be extremely hard hit by climate change and land degradation and drought will exacerbate Africa’s vulnerability; our economies are particularly vulnerable because of our reliance on agriculture and natural resources.  The rural poor whose livelihood depends on agriculture are most at risk. Land degradation, desertification and climate change, are likely to affect our ability to achieve affect the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating, poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability. And large-scale population movements, aggravated regional conflicts and instability and has threatened the lives of people living in affected areas.

Climate change will also affect food security, the productivity of commercial agriculture, commodity exports, health and energy. Hundreds of millions more people will suffer from increased flooding,” Mabudafhasi said.

In addition she added that South Africa should address climate change and desertification and that there is a need for the government to join forces with non-governmental organisations, communities, members of the academia, research institutions, the private sector and parastatals. She reiterated that it was very important for practitioners to bring aspects of science and indigenous knowledge in the fight against desertification. “Scientific research must be integrated with proven policies and strategies aimed at sustainable development and appropriate capacity building,” Mabudafhasi said.

According to Naledi Pandor the National Minister of Science and Technology, science can play a significant role in addressing climate change. She said that there have been better collaborations with other government departments and science. In terms of migration which is induced by climate change she remarked that technology needs to be developed to monitor changes in migration and that science can help do this. “During the drought in Mali, there was huge migration due to no food and water. When it comes to improving the quality of water chemistry is important. We have become a consumptive society which is producing a lot of chemicals and this is where science can play a role.”

In South Africa 2015 and 2016 has been described as the country’s hottest summers. It led to droughts in many provinces. Rushni Mistry from Oxfam, warned about the impacts that climate change will have on food security. “Natural disasters affect people’s livelihoods and it can lead to hunger. In rural areas people rely heavily on growing food, but it is becoming harder to do this. This leads to people migrating to cities where they find work, but have to pay soaring food prices.” She explained that the most vulnerable are women and children in poor countries. Mistry also mentioned that what is most worrying is that people go back areas which experienced natural disasters. An example was Alexandra township in Johannesburg, to which people returned after the floods there,” Mistry explained.

Dr. Nicholas King Dr Nicholas King an environmental futurist, explained: “Many current socio-political conflicts have their origin in the natural disasters caused by climate change, for example linking the conflict and refugee crisis in Syria to the extreme drought and collapse of agricultural production in that country between 2006 and 2010. The xenophobia we have seen in South Africa also results from the fact that people are migrating from natural resource crises and conflicts in their own countries arising from extreme weather events.

“There needs to be a complete shift to a more flexible, rapid, adaptable decision-making in South Africa, coupled with decentralised renewable energy generation, to accommodate the unpredictable extremes of climate change. Knowing what we know about the science of climate change, we cannot afford to invest in big coal-fired power stations and nuclear.  These investments will commit us to a path where adaptation is almost impossible, and where major national investments are made into assets that will be eventually stranded.”

Areas such as Johannesburg and Cape Town have already seen the influx migrants from rural areas to the city centres in search of work. This also puts more pressure on already stressed water reserves. Johannesburg has also seen a lot of water restrictions.

The Western Cape and Cape Town in particular is also experiencing the lowest dam levels in many years. At the Newlands Fresh Water Spring, people were allowed to fill five litre containers with water, but it was later found out that some people started arriving with trucks filled with containers to fill. It came to light that some of the people started to illegally sell the water they got from spring. Never before have you seen people buying so much bottles of water at supermarkets. As  strict water restrictions have been implemented in the Western Cape, people are only realising the value of the natural resource of which they have taken for granted for many years.  The Western Cape has always been blessed with a fair amount of rainfall.

Economies and South Africa’s in particular could collapse if measures, to combat climate change is not implemented with the greatest urgency. The African continent is particularly economically vulnerable due to its high reliance on agriculture and natural resources. And because sea levels are alarmingly rising, there has also been an urgent call to improve infrastructures.

An environmental futurist from Cape Town, South Africa, has warned that there needs to be a rapid change in direction for the country to avoid the collapse. Dr. Nicholas King an environmental futurist, explained that as climate change increases, so economies fuelled by fossil fuels will become increasingly less acceptable and competitive.

“South Africa is doing little to change that. “Water has already become scarce, with some 70% of our freshwater going to agriculture; as water becomes scarcer (coming in more extreme evens) and the land gets hotter, so agriculture as currently practised will collapse.  Fires will become even more prevalent and extreme. In the Western Cape we have wine farms and forestry and extreme weather events will cause increasing damage. In the form of storm surges and floods.  The knock-on effects will be of biodiversity responses, and especially human livelihoods as people leave the land, particularly subsistence farmers, and migrate to cities. It will lead to increasing unemployment, crime and xenophobia.

“We have lived through about a 1 000 years of a very stable global climate –which has allowed human civilisation with agricultural, cities to develop the way it has. A changing climate affects absolutely everything.” King further said that in addition that South Africa’s Operation Phakisa envisages exploitation of off-shore fossil fuels resources, with massive investments into exploration and required port infrastructure for example at Saldanha Bay. “All of these indicate absolutely no intention of phasing out fossil fuels and meeting our mitigation targets. One might argue the proposed carbon tax is a move in the right direction, which it is if implemented, and implemented correctly, including that any revenues raised go towards mitigation technologies such as renewables. However, if it is simply used to raise revenue for the central fiscus then it is not. The real purpose of a carbon tax is not to raise revenue, but to reduce emissions – and then you don’t get taxed.”

King continued that the planet is already 1C warmer than pre-industrial times, and this warming is speeding up. That means more volatile weather, and less plant growing days as the water evaporates more quickly for the ground – with huge implications for rain-fed agriculture, the staple in SADC. “Recent research shows more than 50% of all species have already and are rapidly shifting their historical changes in response, as well as their phenologies – with massive implications for health with diseases such as  malaria. Agricultural pests and diseases, and collapse of pollinated crops as pollinating insects respond out of kilter with the plants. Fish stocks are shifting rapidly, destroying the fishing sector,” King said.

Climate change will affect food security, the productivity of commercial agriculture and commodity exports. And because water will become a scarce commodity due to frequent droughts its price will also increase exponently.  Another country which has also not quite adapted to climate change is Tanzania. It is estimated that will lead to a loss of nearly two percent of GDP each year, by 2030. According to UK Aid the adaptation to climate change “can reduce the economic costs of climate change, but it has a cost.  The costs of adaptation are still emerging but adaptation needs could be high for Tanzania. There is a strong justification for adaptation financing; however, accessing new funds will require the analysis of the options and the costs of adaptation.”

Kumi Naidoo the former Director of Greenpeace and a fighter for a green economy, explained that only about 10% of business leadership in South Africa actually fully “get it. They acknowledge that the current system of doing business is unsustainable and that there have to be massive changes in the business environment. They recognise that climate change is a game-changer. They’re willing to make changes and want government to take the lead in terms of regulatory changes. On the other end of the spectrum, another 10% to 15% of the heads of business are still trying to raise questions and doubts around the veracity of climate change and inequality claims,” Naidoo explained.

According to the National Department of Environmental Affairs, global warming will most likely also affect Africa’s Millennium Development Goals of eradicating poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability. Global warming is the reason for droughts, floods and change in weather patterns. Over the years we have seen more frequent natural disasters and desertification, which make it impossible to plant food and also lead to the death of livestock.  It is estimated that one billion people worldwide could be forced from their homes by 2050. This will lead to 250 million people being permanently displaced by climate change.

Former President Barack Obama, is known for his position that climate change “is the greatest long-term threat facing the world, as well as a danger already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. “Many countries is now of the opinion that climate change is a major threat.  But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change. They’ll be busy dealing with its effects. “With more environmental disasters, more economic disruptions. Waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. When you see severe environmental strains of one sort or another on cultures, on civilizations, on nations, the by-products of that are unpredictable and can be very dangerous. If the current projections, the current trend lines on a warming planet continue, it is certainly going to be enormously disruptive worldwide,” Obama said.

In 2015 Hillary Clinton the former US secretary of state, warned about water wars in which rival governments will fight over natural resources. John Kerry also a former secretary of state, even went as far as to talk about ‘climate refugees’.  “You think migration is a challenge to Europe today wait until you see what happens when there’s an absence of water, or one tribe fighting against another for mere survival,” he said.

Climate change is a huge reality in Africa and it is estimated that Africa will be the hardest hit by it in terms of food production. The continent is experiencing more intensified droughts and floods. It is said that it could lead to political and resource conflicts in Africa. The Centre for International  Governance Innovation in said that climate and environmentally “related disasters which threaten human security can induce forced migration and produce competition among communities and nations for water and basic resources. It is estimated that South Africa may experience water shortages for a period of up to 16 years.

It is only until recent years that South African authorities have really started looking into the matter. According to the former Deputy Minister of Water and  Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the problems of the coming century are not receiving adequate attention. “Some scientists rank desertification and deforestation third amongst environmental issues requiring attention. As we know now, Africa will be extremely hard hit by climate change and land degradation and drought will exacerbate Africa’s vulnerability; our economies are particularly vulnerable because of our reliance on agriculture and natural resources.

The rural poor whose livelihood depends on agriculture are most at risk. Land degradation, desertification and climate change, are likely to affect our ability to achieve affect the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating, poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability. And large-scale population movements, aggravated regional conflicts and instability and has threatened the lives of people living in affected areas. Climate change will also affect food security, the productivity of commercial agriculture, commodity exports, health and energy. Hundreds of millions more people will suffer from increased flooding,” Mabudafhasi said.

In addition she added that South Africa should address climate change and desertification and that there is a need for the government to join forces with non-governmental organisations, communities, members of the academia, research institutions, the private sector and parastatals. She reiterated that it was very important for practitioners to bring aspects of science and indigenous knowledge in the fight against desertification. “Scientific research must be integrated with proven policies and strategies aimed at sustainable development and appropriate capacity building,” Mabudafhasi said.

According to Naledi Pandor the National Minister of Science and Technology, science can play a significant role in addressing climate change. She said that there have been better collaborations with other government departments and science. In terms of migration which is induced by climate change she remarked that technology needs to be developed to monitor changes in migration and that science can help do this. “During the drought in Mali, there was huge migration due to no food and water. When it comes to improving the quality of water chemistry is important. We have become a consumptive society which is producing a lot of chemicals and this is where science can play a role.”

In South Africa 2015 and 2016 has been described as the country’s hottest summers. It led to droughts in many provinces. Rushni Mistry from Oxfam, warned about the impacts that climate change will have on food security. “Natural disasters affect people’s livelihoods and it can lead to hunger. In rural areas people rely heavily on growing food, but it is becoming harder to do this. This leads to people migrating to cities where they find work, but have to pay soaring food prices.” She explained that the most vulnerable are women and children in poor countries. Mistry also mentioned that what is most worrying is that people go back areas which experienced natural disasters. An example was Alexandra township in Johannesburg, to which people returned after the floods there,” Mistry explained.

Areas such as Johannesburg and Cape Town have already seen the influx migrants from rural areas to the city centres in search of work. This also puts more pressure on already stressed water reserves. Johannesburg has also seen a lot of water restrictions.

The Western Cape and Cape Town in particular is also experiencing the lowest dam levels in many years. At the Newlands Fresh Water Spring, people were allowed to fill five litre containers with water, but it was later found out that some people started arriving with trucks filled with containers to fill. It came to light that some of the people started to illegally sell the water they got from spring. Never before have you seen people buying so much bottles of water at supermarkets. As  strict water restrictions have been implemented in the Western Cape, people are only realising the value of the natural resource of which they have taken for granted for many years.  The Western Cape has always been blessed with a fair amount of rainfall.