African climate crisis should be 'supreme concern' to world: Report
The report comes less than a month before the COP27 conference in Egypt, as wealthy nations are held liable for the global damages and responsible for repairing them.
Ahead of UN negotiations next month at COP27 in Egypt, in a call written by 16 editors of biomedical journals across Africa on Wednesday, rich countries were warned to increase climate support for the continent's nations, saying that damage already taking over Africa "should be of supreme concern to all nations."
"It is highly unjust that the most impacted nations have contributed the least to global cumulative emissions, which are driving the climate crisis and its increasingly severe effects," the editorial said.
It was published in some 250 scientific journals, including 50 African titles and international medical journals like The BMJ, The Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the National Medical Journal of India. The authors are from journals including African Health Sciences, the African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, and the East African Medical Journal.
The authors slammed the international community's failure to meet its promise of providing $100 billion a year by 2020 for developing countries to spur a green energy transition and to help nations prepare for future climate impacts.
Global warming is taking a heavy toll on African economies and the health of their populations, the authors say, calling for specific funding to deal with the costs of damage already being felt.
The editorial cited estimates that malnutrition, driven by climate change impacts on food and water, kills some 1.7 million people a year in Africa. Meanwhile, floods and damage to environmental hygiene have also led to increases in malaria, dengue fever, Ebola virus, and other infectious diseases across sub-Saharan Africa.
While some progress has been recorded, which entails early warning systems and infrastructure built to withstand weather calamities, according to the authors, wealthier nations responsible for the fossil fuel emissions accelerating global warming had a responsibility to act upon the matter immediately.
The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) reported in August that an unprecedented four failed rainy seasons in Africa have killed millions of livestock, destroyed crops, and forced 1.1 million people out of their homes in search of food and water.
"It is time the global community acknowledges that the climate crisis, while disproportionately affecting the continent, is a global crisis," said Lukoye Atwoli, a professor and Dean of the Medical College East Africa. "Action must begin now, and begin where it is hurting most, in Africa. Failure to act will make the crisis everyone's problem very soon."
The world’s main forum for heads of governments, businesses, and environmental organizations to discuss and find solutions for the anthropogenic climate emergency is due to be held in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh from November 6-18.