Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on Tuesday pledged $1 billion towards the Great Green Wall, a new plan to help fight desertification in Africa.
Bezos attended the COP26 conference in Glasgow and convened with Prince Charles, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at a U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) event that focused on the new project, which aims to fight back against climate change’s effect on the landscape and agriculture of Africa.
The Great Green Wall of Africa is an initiative reforest the continent, where climate change has drastically effected the soil, agriculture, and weather patterns. The project was launched in 2007 by the African Union, and aims to plant 100 million hectares of trees and forestry by the end of this decade in 2030.
Africa is at the forefront of the climate crisis. Although it is contributes the least to carbon emissions in the plants atmosphere, it remains the most vulnerable area in the world to the present and forthcoming effects of climate change.
The report found that up to 32 million people could be forced to move to other parts of the region by 2050 if adequate action isn’t taken to combat climate change. People may begin being forced out by 2030.
Although Sub-Saharan Africa contributes the least globally to carbon emissions, the people who live there are bearing the brunt of these actions. Although the report projects the most extreme consequences to take place ten to thirty years in the future, the effects of climate change have already arrived on the continent. Temperatures are rising 1.5 times faster than the worldwide average in some areas.
Water scarcity has already started affecting crop productivity and causing people to seek out new areas for farming. Droughts and erosion of the landscape have put the livelihood of those working in agriculture in jeopardy, as well as the population at large.
Climate change is one of Africa’s biggest issues
Cities on the coasts of Senegal and Nigeria face impending rises in sea levels, which could cause the region’s most central cities to be massively impacted.
The report calls for international assistance, stating that “immediate and concerted action to reduce global emissions and support green, inclusive, and resilient development could reduce the scale of climate migration by as much as 60% in West Africa.”
The World Bank’s most recent Africa’s Pulse report says that Sub-Saharan Africa would need roughly $30 billion to $50 billion annually throughout the course of the decade to afford the climate adaptation necessary for the problems it’s facing.