This Day (Lagos)
By Damilola Oyedele
President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has cautioned that climate change is likely to create food insecurity in Africa by the year 2050 and push the continent into deeper depths of poverty.
At the Africa Regional Human Development Report launch, themed, "Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World," by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Abuja, yesterday, Yar'Adua said although Africa contributes the least percentage in terms of activities that are damaging the environment, the continents is the most vulnerable, with the least capacity to protect them.
The United Nations has raised an alert that the world is emitting too much Green House Gases (GHG) than the atmosphere can absorb, which means that there is an impending global disaster.
According to UN statistics, Africa contributes only two per cent of the total GHG, these does not mean Africa would suffer fewer effects, as it has been estimated that climate change would affect Africa's agriculture by 26 per cent, amounting to $26 billion.
Yar'Adua said there is a need to for countries to find alternatives to sources of Green House Emissions, while developed countries must live up to their obligations in preventing a global disaster, especially as they are the greatest contributors to environment damages.
Minister of Housing and Environment, Mrs Halima Tayo Alao, said the Nicholas Stern's report and the Fourth Assessment Report of the Inter-governmental Panel on climate change, have emphasised the seriousness of the threats to lives.
"In Nigeria, it is estimated that in the Sudan Sahel area, between 89,297 and 133,944 square kilometres of arable land would be at risk and capital value of the risk stands at about $6.4 billion for the current level of development. With a 30-year development, the value stands at $23.9 billion if no measure is taken," he said.
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