Azara Blog: Africa and climate change

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Date published: 2005/06/20

The BBC says:

Efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa will fail unless urgent action is taken to halt climate change, a coalition of aid and environment groups claims.

The Working Group on Climate Change and Development says the G8 nations have so far failed to "join the dots" between climate change and Africa.

The group's concerns are echoed in a separate report from the UK's leading body of scientists, the Royal Society.

The leaders of the major industrial nations meet in Scotland On 6-8 July.

The Working Group on Climate Change and Development is an alliance of 21 UK-based charities and environment groups.

Their report, Africa: Up in Smoke? calls for deeper emission cuts in rich countries and for the G8 to make new funding available to help poor countries adapt to global warming.

Governments had to recognise that dealing with climate change was part of the answer of getting people out of poverty in Africa, said Sarah La Trobe, policy officer for climate change and disasters at the charity Tearfund.

"Efforts to reduce poverty in Africa are not going to work without attention to this issue," she told the BBC News website.

"Governments have to recognise that. They must make faster progress with countries that are suffering." The working group wants:

The Royal Society is also calling for G8 leaders to commit to helping Africa cope with climate change.

New data suggests the impact of climate change on crop production on the continent will be more severe than previously thought.

In its report, Food Crops in a Changing Climate, based on discussions in April by experts on climate change and crop production, the UK science academy says Africa is predicted to be one of the worst hit areas of the world.

The usual suspects making the usual claims. Anything and everything that any special interest pressure group wants to progress must be shown to have some link with climate change, because that lends it credibility. Of course Africa will be affected by climate change as will all other continents. And Africa, being poorer, will probably not cope as well. Tell us something we don't know. The most serious problems in Africa (including environmental ones) have less to do with rich-country-induced climate change than with governments that are dreadful.

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