Friday, June 2, 2017 11:41 am
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement was going to be “detrimental” for Africa, environmental activists and politicians said Friday.
“It will now be much harder to protect people on the African continent from the effects of climate change,” World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa researcher Jaco Toit told dpa.
The withdrawal from the accord by the world’s second-biggest carbon polluter jeopardizes financing for mitigation and control efforts across the African continent, according to du Toit.
“We hope that other countries will jump in to make up for the shortfall,” the researcher said.
The former president of Ghana, John Mahama, who was instrumental in garnering support for the 2015 pact, said “Trump’s decision … comes from a truly misinformed position.”
“The world becomes a truly unpredictable place when such global treaties can be reversed by the electoral decision of one nation,” Mahama warned.
Trump’s administration had “turned its back” on Africa, lamented Greenpeace Africa executive director Njeri Kabeberi.
“The millions of people living on the African continent are on the frontlines of climate change, and it is critical that polluters are held accountable for the suffering and injustice global warming is already inflicting,” said Kabeberi.
The African Union meanwhile promised to keep up its “strong commitment to full implementation of the Paris agreement,” in spite of the US’ withdrawal from the pact.
Climate analytics researchers warn that climate change will have serious repercussions in Africa, including extreme heat waves, lack of rainfall and shrinking water resources, with negative consequences for agricultural production and fisheries.
Experts expect an increase of the already high rates of under nutrition and infectious disease, flash flooding and food price increases across the continent.