Uganda, S.Sudan, Congo most vulnerable to extreme heat if climate targets not met — Oxford report
The planet’s record-breaking hot weather has caused severe drought in many places around the world and African nations risk extreme heat if climate targets are missed, with Uganda, South Sudan, and Congo being among the most vulnerable to soaring temperatures, a recent Oxford study has warned.
According to the report, eight of the 10 countries facing the greatest relative increase in uncomfortably hot days are expected to be in Northern Europe, with Canada and New Zealand completing the list. But the top ten countries that will experience the highest needs for cooling overall in a 2.0ºC scenario are all in Africa, with Central Africa most affected.
“These conditions will pose further stress to the continent’s socio-economic development and energy networks… issues that require much additional research given the limited studies of this rising threat in the African context,” says Radhika Khosla, co-author of the study. “It is also a clear indication Africa is bearing the brunt of a problem they did not create, which should further strengthen calls for climate justice and equity.”
Therefore, the Oxford report calls for urgent action to safeguard Africa’s socio-economic development and vulnerable populations. The study emphasizes the urgent need to take action, as these nations would experience a significant increase in heat exposure if the planet warms by 2ºC. The research focused on “cooling degree days,” a widely used method to assess the need for cooling on specific days. Alarmingly, Africa had the highest historical cooling requirements between 2009 and 2018. Other countries in the continent most at risk include the Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Mali, South Sudan, Nigeria, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad, and Cameroon.