African countries such as Ethiopia that contribute the least to global greenhouse-gas emissions, are already spending billions of dollars a year dealing with the impact of climate change, according to a report.
New research by the non-profit group Power Shift Africa, published Saturday, estimates Ethiopia will spend 5.6% of its gross domestic product, or $6 billion, each year until 2030 to counter the impact of floods, climate-driven diseases, hailstorms and wildfires. The Horn of Africa, where Ethiopia is situated, is suffering its most severe drought in 40 years, with 1.5 million livestock dying, the Associated Press cited a United Nations official as saying.
The analysis was published ahead of a major report on Feb. 28 by UN-backed scientists, providing a blunt assessment of what the world will need to do to adapt to changes that have already happened, and its future impacts. Wealthy countries agreed at the COP26 climate summit in November to double the funding they give to poor nations to cope with climate change, without giving a specific figure. Many vulnerable countries say that’s still not going to be enough.
In the report, entitled “Adapt or Die,” Power Shift Africa analyzed the National Adaptation Plans submitted by seven African countries to the UN. South Sudan, the world’s second poorest country, is set to spend 3% of GDP a year, or $376 million, on adaptation, the report said.
South Africa, the continent’s most industrialized nation and a major polluter in its own right, is set to spend more than $2 billion a year, equal to 0.7% of its GDP, investing in measures to limit damage. It’s already experienced more frequent and extreme storms, fires and droughts, most likely as a result of rising temperatures.
The seven countries plan to spend an average of 4% of their GDP on adaptation annually, ranging from $90 million in Sierra Leone — where citizens generate an 80th of the carbon dioxide that can be attributed to the average American — to what Ethiopia will spend. African nations, mostly on account of their lack of industrialization, generally emit little carbon dioxide.
“This report shows the deep injustice of the climate emergency,” Mohamed Adow, Director of Power Shift Africa, said in the report. “It is simply not acceptable for the costs to fall on those people who are suffering the most while contributing the least to climate change.”
Original News Article: Bloomberg
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