These are the African cities most vulnerable to climate change
US president Donald Trump announced on Thursday (June 1) that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement—weakening international efforts to reduce fossil-fuel emissions and mitigate global warming.
The deal, signed by 195 countries, is crucial for Africa, given the far-ranging impact of harmful greenhouse gases. The continent emits a paltry amount of harmful gasses, yet is particularly vulnerable to global warming and its effects. At 3.8%, Africa accounts for the smallest share of global greenhouse gas emissions, in contrast to 23% in China, 19% in the US, and 13% in the European Union.
Climate change in Africa is manifest in rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, and changes in rainfall patterns leading to floods or severe droughts. Since 1970, Africa has experienced more than 2,000 natural disasters, with just under half taking place in the last decade. Africa also contains 7 out of the 10 countries that are considered the most threatened by climate change globally, according to the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution. The extreme weather events are also taking a toll on African cities—which are growing rapidly—and is threatening the livelihoods of millions of people across the continent.