Oxfam International says rising temperatures will push millions of people in Africa into poverty and hunger unless governments take swift action.

Earlier this week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report detailing progress and pathways to liming global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Apollos Nwafor, Pan Africa Director of Oxfam International notes that settling for 2 degrees would be a death sentence for people in many parts of Africa.

Embracing the renewable energy revolution

“Climate change has set our planet on fire, millions are already feeling the impacts, and the IPCC just showed that things can get much worse. The faster governments embrace the renewable energy revolution and move to protect communities at risk, the more lives and livelihoods that will be spared,”Nwafor explains.

He continues: “A hotter Africa is a hungrier Africa. Today at only 1.1 degrees of warming globally, crops and livestock across the region are being hit and hunger is rising, with poor small scale women farmers, living in rural areas suffering the most. It only gets worse from here.”

Increased climate finance

According to Nwafor Oxfam is calling for increased, responsible and accountable climate finance from rich countries to supports small scale farmers, especially women to realize their right to food security and climate justice.

“While time is short, there is still a chance of keeping to 1.5 degrees of warming. We must reject any false solution like Large Scale Land Based Investments that means kicking small scale farmers off their land to make way for carbon farming and focus instead on stopping our use of fossil fuels, starting with an end to building new coal power stations worldwide.”

Climate impacts in Africa

Natural disasters such as droughts and floods have been thwarting development in the African continent. Fluctuations in agricultural production due to climate variations along with inefficient agricultural systems cause food insecurity, one of the most obvious indicators of poverty.

The 2016 El Niño phenomenon, which was super charged by the effects of climate change, crippled rain-fed agricultural production and left over 40 million people foods insecure in Africa.

“Without urgent action to reduce global emissions, the occurrence of climate shocks and stresses in the Africa region are expected to get much worse,” Nwafor concludes.