Why stopping climate crisis key in race to save humanity

Sunday Nation

In the race to save humanity, stopping the climate crisis must be at the heart of all the gears we engage as a country. One wrong move and we could be headed for a catastrophic end.

Already, the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a blow on many fronts, including health jobs and the environment. Africa found itself walking on a tightrope when it was forced to divert resources to deal with the pandemic. Stripped of the necessary tools to fight calamities like floods and drought, the impact of climate change has become a real nightmare.

As things stand, the world is not doing too well on the climate change front. The current emission pledges by states will not deliver the goal of limiting global heating to less than1.5 degrees Celsius. Last week, a UN report showed the world is headed in the wrong direction. We are likely to see a 16 per cent rise in emissions in 2030 compared to 2010.

Although scientists advise that global temperatures should stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the 16 per cent rise means we will not achieve that. Global heating will hit 2.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, worsening the climate crisis, the UN warned.

For the world, this new figure needs to be wake-up call to ensure the upcoming COP26 climate summit this November is a success by keeping its promise of slashing emissions. For Kenya and the other climate-vulnerable countries, the new figure should jolt their governments into making more strategic decisions in response to the crisis.

The fight to keep fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, in the ground is now more important than ever. As the biggest culprit in the climate change crisis, they must be phased out. For the sake of our health and economy, it is not time for Africa to play catch up on the mainly coal-powered industrialisation. That ship has sailed. Instead, we need to leapfrog to the future and embrace renewables.

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