Sunday, August 25, 2013

Climate change may reduce crop production by 50% in some countries, says environmentalist

A former Bolivian Ambassador to United Nations said this in Lagos on Friday.

Climate change could reduce yields from rain-fed agriculture by up to 50 per cent in some countries by 2020.

Pablo Solon, former Bolivian Ambassador to United Nations, stated this, Friday, at the inaugural Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF)’s Sustainable Academy in Lagos.

“We have to recognize that we are part of nature, that our future is linked with the future of earth,” said Mr. Solon, Executive Director, Focus on the Global South.

Two-thirds of all proven fossil fuel reserves would have to be left “unburned” if global warming will be held for two degrees Celsius, according to the International Energy Agency.

Mr. Solon explained the magnitude of the temperature rise by stating that a one degree rise in the normal body temperature could lead to fever.

The event themed ‘Climate Change and the Looming Food Crisis’ had already concluded two sessions, earlier in the week, in Abuja and Benin City.

Nnimmo Bassey, HOMEF’s Director, said that global warming has become a major concern in Nigeria and the rest of the world, with large numbers of people still ignorant about it.

“No doubt people recognize that weather events such as rainfall and flooding are getting more intense. They can even tell you the rhythms of the weather have become unpredictable,” said Mr. Bassey.

“However, when it comes to saying what is responsible for climate change, the answers taper out. If we do not know the cause and those responsible, it is doubtful that we can solve the problem,” he added.

Mr. Bassey said that effective communication of climate change and the looming food crisis will help “unpack the problem.”

“We hope that concepts like Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD), Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and other market-based false solutions would be exposed for what they are,” Mr. Bassey said.

“Projects like Eko Atlantic City must be interrogated as a climate challenge, not a solution, recognizing the fact of sea level rise and the low-lying nature of Nigeria’s vulnerable coastline,” he added.

Mr. Bassey further stated that temperature increases of the magnitude currently experienced was now a possibility because of refusal of polluting nations to commit to measurable and verifiable emissions cut.

“Africa is poised to heat up much more than other regions,” Mr. Bassey continued.

“Continuous temperature rise because of lack of commitment of nations to cut emissions at source will translate to the roasting of Africa, an already very vulnerable continent.

“Food production capacity will also be diminished, exposing the continent to great danger,” he added. More