Africa is one of the continents worst affected by the climate crisis, although it is among the lowest carbon emitters in the world, according to Ugandan climate change activist, Vanessa Nakate.
Nakate said Africa has become a victim of the climate change phenomenon, despite the continent’s minor role in contributing to carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Nakate said this on Wednesday evening, 7 October 2020, during a virtual lecture to celebrate retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s eighty-ninth birthday. The tenth Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture focused on climate justice.
“The climate crisis is the greatest threat facing humanity today. Africa, out of all continents, is the lowest emitter of [carbon] emissions, but it is among the most affected by the climate crisis,” Nakate said.
She noted that climate change “greatly affects water resources, food security, infrastructure, ecosystems and people.”
“We have seen the devastating impacts of climate change in Africa, such as the drought and floods that we are experiencing.”
According to the activist, “with the increasing global temperatures, the weather patterns are disrupted, causing shorter and heavier rainy seasons and longer and hotter dry seasons. The heavy rainfalls have led to floods in different parts of the continent, leading to mass devastation and destruction of people’s livelihoods,” she said.
The commemorations started with President Cyril Ramaphosa wishing the veteran apartheid fighter the best of health on his birthday.
“Today, we are united in celebrating the passing of another year in which we have benefited from the Archbishop’s wisdom, the bravery of his conviction in fighting for human rights, the warmth of his love for all South Africans, and his care for humanity,” the president stated.