Climate Change and Consequences for Africans

Africa has contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions but will be among the regions worst affected by global warming.

Increasing temperatures modify the ecosystem so conditions for plants, animals and humans change – and that leads to a change in their geographical distribution.

While some regions benefit from a more hospitable climate, the great majority will face harsher and more extreme living conditions and natural resources like water will become less available. This will lead to a reduction in agricultural production which will threaten food sovereignty and increase poverty. In turn, these are likely to kindle a greater risk of forced migration and conflicts.

Kilimanjaro melting snow 1993-2000
Kilimanjaro melting snow 1993-2000 by Futura Science

Climate injustice in Africa

Africa has contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions but will be among the worst regions affected by global warming. Yet industrialized countries, which are most responsible for causing climate change, are unwilling to reduce their emissions quickly enough.

Africa has to adapt to climate change at a much faster rate and on a bigger scale than rich countries, but without the resources and technology needed.

Climate change and human activities

The climate has varied for centuries. But human activities have contributed to the trend of global warming by increasing emission of greenhouse gases from energy supply, industry, transport, agriculture and deforestation. The current dominant economic system encourages exchanges of products around the world and some industrial or agricultural processes that contribute to abnormal climate change.

Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gas (GHG) is gas accumulated in the atmosphere thus maintaining the heat received from the sun to the earth's surface. They allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely. They absorb part of the sun radiation, trap the heat in the atmosphere and reflect it back to the earth, so causing the warming of the planet. That's why they are called "greenhouse gases".