By 2050, Global Warming Could be Costing Africa $50bn per Year; Are African Energy Startups Doing Enough to Fight the Menace?
The increasing frequency of the effect of climate change like the recent Australian fire outbreak is causing enormous concern all over the world. Amazon CEO and the World’s richest man, Jeff Bezos has pledged a sum of $10 billion towards combating global warming.
The fund which will be invested through the billionaire’s new global initiative, Bezos Earth Fund, will be used to finance scientists, activists, NGOs and any other effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.
Announcing the fund, Bezos acknowledged that climate change posed a major threat to the planet. He added that he would work alongside others to find new ways of fighting its consequences, especially global warming.
However, this is not Bezos first investment in Climate change. He is an investor in Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund whose mission is to finance the development of technologies that can mitigate climate change.
Nigeria’s Max.ng for its Max E bikes and Anergy a solar company are both beneficiaries of the Venture.
Climate change causes abnormal weather conditions
The recent unpredictable change in weather patterns which you probably think is random isn’t actually accidental because it is an effect of global warming.
Climate change has an adverse environmental effect caused by the increase in average global temperature. This rise in temperature is as a result of human activities which increase in the concentration of Greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the earth’s atmosphere.
Africa is the most vulnerable to climate change
Africa is one of the regions most severely hit by impacts of climate change. This particularly due to the vulnerability caused by the regions coping ability and widespread poverty.
Assuming international efforts keep global warming below 2°C the continent could face climate change adaptation costs of US$ 50 billion per year by 2050.UN Environment Program
According to UN Projections, climate change will lead to an equivalent of 2 – 4% annual loss in GDP on the continent by 2040. Also, if Global warming reaches 2˚C, it would put over 50% of the continent’s population at risk of undernourishment.
In 2019, the average temperature across the surface of the earth was 0.95°C above the twentieth-century average of 13.9°C, making it the second-warmest year on record. Currently, the global warming temperature is between 1 and 0.8 °C.
The earths temperature has increased from 0.4 – 0.9 ˚C in the last 100 years
Effects of Climate change in Nigeria
Nigeria has one of the highest rates of poverty globally with 86.9 million people representing nearly 50% of its estimated 180 million population living in extreme poverty. This makes the country one of the most vulnerable to climate change.
However, many Nigerians know little about the effects of global warming. They do not understand that the changing rainfall patterns that lead to drought or floods and cause a reduction in crop and livestock production are due to climate change and not anomalies.
If left unchecked, climate change will cause more adverse effects such as the increasing temperature of the afternoon sun, the increasing rainfall which turns into floods and unpredictable weather conditions that will worsen the livelihoods of Nigerians.
Its also causes depredation of lands like the expansion of the Sahara desert into the north and the reduction of the coverage of lake chad from 40,000
square kilometres to just 1,300 square kilometres.
Combating climate change in Nigeria
Crude oil which is Nigeria source of revenue is a major source of Greenhouse production. This is probably why the government has not been pressed to address the growing concern of climate change.
Also, there is still no plan to reduce the large percentage of the over 1.8 million cars plying the Nigerian roads running on petrol or diesel engines. These serve as a major source of greenhouse gases.
However, a few clean energy initiatives are emerging to bring in renewable sources of energy. Although, adoption is still low, it is growing at a steady pace compared to the almost non-existent presence of clean energy in early 2000.
Solar companies like Arnergy Solar Limited, Lumos and Mobility Startups like Max.ng which are creating clean energy initiatives are part of the few combating the menace of global warming in Nigeria.
The first grant from the Bezos Earth Fund is scheduled to be doled out between June to September. With the new influx of funds, clean energy companies around the globe are poised to make considerable impact in the fight against climate change.
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