Climate change: World on precipice
Climate change is already taking its toll on many parts of the world, especially in least developed and developing countries.
It is affecting economic growth, health, water availability, food production and ecosystems.
A report released by the United Nations’ (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2022, said time was ticking ever more dangerously towards the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold of global warming.
In fact, the onslaught of climate disasters in recent times has left little breathing space for the international community to respond.
Many countries that hitherto had been spared disasters are experiencing the harsh weather conditions as a result of global warming.
Pakistan has suffered extreme floods this year.
From 2022, Europe has witnessed its hottest summer in 500 years.
The Philippines and Cuba have also not been spared extreme weather conditions.
Africa has not been safe either.
Climate change is expected to result in a decrease in the length of wet spells and is likely to lessen crop yields, which would negatively impact on food security.
In Ghana, a Country Climate and Development Report of the World Bank Group’s estimates that at least one million more people could fall into poverty due to climate shocks if urgent climate actions are not taken.
The report also warns that if pre-emptive measures are not taken, incomes could reduce by up to 40 per cent, further worsening the economic plight of the less privileged.
It is good news to note that many leaders are not sitting idle.
A couple of weeks ago, political and business leaders in Africa met in Kenya to adopt a declaration to address climate challenges in Africa and the rest of the world.
And just a fortnight or less ago, the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, who is a well-known climate advocate, warned that the lack of commitment from world leaders to increase measures to tackle climate change would cause the world to be uninhabitable.
The warning comes in the wake of the failure of rich countries to redeem pledges aimed at fighting global warming and climate change, and the Daily Graphic urges world leaders to take Okyenhene’s warning seriously because, as he put it, such an imminent crisis would push the survival of humans and other living species to the brink of destruction and eventual extinction.
Delivering an address at the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, in the USA, the Okyenhene cited how today’s rising global temperatures, frequent floods, droughts, extreme heatwaves, wildfires, water, melting ice caps, worsened air quality and the displacement of vulnerable communities had all become stark reminders of the consequences of our inaction.
Unfortunately, although Africa contributes just about three per cent to global warming, it is the most affected region from the resultant climate change.
The Okyenhene was thus on point when in another encounter later with faculty members and students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute he called on young people across the world to raise their voices against climate injustice to help mitigate the devastating impact of global warming on poor and vulnerable countries.
The Daily Graphic reiterates that as future leaders, young people who have the knowledge, technology and moral imperative should amplify their voices to promote environmental justice to make the world safer.
In addition to these, we hold the firm belief that the fight against climate change will not yield the desired impact if finance is not put on the agenda and exhaustively discussed.
Inasmuch as advocates play their role and governments, especially in Africa, try to deal with the challenges of global warming, the developed world must not wait any longer in committing the much-needed finance into the fight against global warming.
Indeed, the longer we wait, the shorter our lives become and the more challenging it will be to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, as aptly pointed out by the Okyenhene.