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African nations seek funds as cost of climate change mounts

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — From drought to cyclones to rising sea levels, the cost of climate change damage in Africa will only rise as the world warms, raising concerns of activists and officials on how to pay for it.

Africa’s islands and coastal states, and the 116 million people who inhabit them, will be heavily exposed to rising sea levels and will spend about $50 billion in damage by 2050, according to a report released Thursday by the Organization. United Nations World Meteorology.

He added that he drank for the past 50 years in the Horn of Africa and southern Africa, exacerbated by climate change, has claimed the lives of more than half a million people, with losses estimated at $70 billion. more than 1000 floods in the same period it claimed more than 20,000 lives, he said.

The report’s findings prompted new calls for compensation for the continent from many who believe wealthy nations that emit far more planet-warming gases into the atmosphere should foot the bill for climate catastrophes, known as “loss and damage.” in the climate negotiations.

“As a continent, we feel that the problem of loss and damage needs to be addressed,” said Harsen Nyambe, director of sustainable environment for the African Union. “It is a controversial issue and developed countries fear because it has serious financial implications. .”

Failure to create a “loss and damage fund” means African countries “have no recourse or compensation from the wealthy nations most responsible for climate change,” said a report by the Mo Ibrahim philanthropic foundation published earlier this year. .

Negotiations on loss and damage were a sticking point at last year’s UN climate conference and are expected to feature prominently again this year at November’s climate summit, known as COP27, to be held in the Sharm el Sheikh Egyptian resort.

Africa is expected to join other developing nations from Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific at COP27 who have come together under the Climate Vulnerability Forum to address loss and damage and seek compensation.

The bloc, currently chaired by Ghana, was formed in 2009 and brings together 48 of the world’s most climate-sensitive developing countries with a combined population of 1.2 billion but a collective share of global emissions of just 5%.

“Our continent is experiencing loss of lives and livelihoods, and damage to our lands and communities,” Kenyan climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti told The Associated Press.

In addition to drought and flooding, the continent has also suffered from extreme heat, cyclones and sand storms, degrading lands Due to changing weather conditions and the biodiversity loss.

“Vulnerable countries do not have the financial capacity to adapt to these intensifying climate shocks, making climate finance a global justice issue,” Wahuti added.

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Follow AP climate and environmental coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment

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Associated Press climate and environment coverage is supported by several private foundations. See more about the AP climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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