Africa, despite its low contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, remains the most vulnerable continent.
Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change impacts under all climate scenarios above 1.5 degrees Celsius. Despite having contributed the least to global warming and having the lowest emissions, Africa faces exponential collateral damage, posing systemic risks to its economies, infrastructure investments, water and food systems, public health, agriculture, and livelihoods, threatening to undo its modest development gains and slip into higher levels of extreme poverty. The following factors contribute to Africa’s vulnerability:
Sub-Saharan Africa has 95% of rain-fed agriculture globally.
A large share of agriculture in GDP and employment adds to vulnerability, as do other weather-sensitive activities, such as herding and fishing, leading to income losses and increased food insecurity.
Seven of the 10 countries that are most vulnerable to climate change are in Africa. In 2015, four African countries ranked among the 10 countries most affected: Mozambique (1st), Malawi (3rd), Ghana and Madagascar (joint 8th position).
Climate change represents a major threat to Africa achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report 2018 highlighted the grave consequences of a temperature increase above 1.5°C, especially for Africa.
Nevertheless, climate change also provides opportunities for Africa to harness its huge resource potential to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. Addressing climate change in Africa will create significant market opportunities on the continent, especially for the private sector and institutional investors.
It all start with you. Climate science literacy is an understanding of your influence on climate and climates influence on you and society. A climate literate person:
Comprehend the essential principles of earth's climate system.
Know how to assess scientifically credible information about climate.
Communicates about climate and climate change in the meaningful way, and
is able to make informed and reasonable decisions with regard to actions that affect climate.
To read more about climate literacy, visit NOAA's Climate Program Office site and download the Climate Literacy Principles
Understanding Climate change
Climate literate individuals have a basic understanding of the climate system, including the natural and human-cause factors that affect it.
They know the scientific consensus behind human-induced climate change specifically, that the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to elevated carbon dioxide levels and the warming of the planet. They also understand how climate observations, records, and computer modeling contribute to scientific knowledge about climate. They are aware of the fundamental relationship between climate and human life and the many ways in which the climate has always played a role in human health.
No continent will be struck as severely by the impact of climate change as Africa. Given it geographical position, the continent will be particularly vulnerable due to the considerable limited adaptive capacity, and exacerbated by widespread poverty. Climate change is a particular threat to continued economic growth and to livelihood of vulnerable populations. By 2020 between 75 and 250 million people on the continent are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change. Click here to read more
The United Nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) organizes thousands of climate experts worldwide to synthesize, summarize and report the latest scientific understanding of the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to climate change. IPCC assessment reports are released at regular intervals every few years.
Climate 101 goal is to build an internet site act as a supplement to current in-class environmental science education for basic students.
Take an online climate change courses and earn a certificate
No challenge poses a greater threat to future generation than climate change, become a climate literate now. Click here
Climate Change in Ghana
Ghana is one of Africa's fastest growing economies and has made a significant strides in poverty reduction, but climate variability and change pose a threat to future growth and development. Rising sea levels, drought, higher temperatures and erratic rainfall negatively impact infrastructure, hydro-power production, food security, coastal and agriculture livelihoods. One-quarter of the population lives along the coast in rapidly expanding urban areas like Accra, and are especially vulnerable to flooding and waterborne disease. Drought and reduced rainfall threaten access to reliable power sources,already erratic and insufficient. Despite the country's recent transition to an industry and services oriented economy, 45% of the workforce still depend on rain-fed agriculture. The fisheries sector contributes 4.5% to Ghana's GDP and it is another important source of income and nutrition, providing livelihoods for as many as 2.2 million people.