October 21, 2021

Climate change threatens over 100 million people in Africa

Climate change threatens over 100 million people in Africa

According to a new report by the United Nations, more than 100 million of “extremely poor” people in Africa—classified by the World Meteorological Organization as those who live on $1.90 per day—are threatened by climate change. The report released on Tuesday was created by the WMO and highlights that the population in Africa remains “extremely vulnerable” as the continent is warming at a faster rate than the global average, Al Jazeera reports.

Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, commissioner for rural economy and agriculture at the African Union Commission, warned that “by 2030, it is estimated that up to 118 million extremely poor people will be exposed to drought, floods and extreme heat in Africa, if adequate response measures are not put in place.” She added that in sub-Saharan Africa in particular climate change can influence GDP and cause it to drop by up to 3% by 2050.

IZA World of Labor contributor Linguère Mously Mbaye has explored the relationship between climate change and migration. In her article, she gives an example from sub-Saharan Africa where “weather anomalies are positively associated with rural–urban migration because of their effects on the agricultural sector. This internal migration, in turn, leads to an increase in international migration because it raises the number of workers in cities, translating into lower wages and increasing people’s willingness to move internationally in search of higher wages.”

In the report, Sacko also highlights that not only physicial conditions are getting worse but the number of people being affected is on the rise. According to WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas temperatures across the continent continued to rise causing floods, landslides, and droughts, which all indicate climate change. Earlier in the week African countries also called for a new system which would help track funding from those wealthy nations that are failing to meet a $100bn annual target to help the developing world tackle climate change.

Read more articles on our key topic page Environmental regulation and the labor market and read Linguère Mously Mbaye’s full article Climate change, natural disasters, and migration.