Climate change is not only an environmental challenge but it is the greatest political, social and economic challenge that the world has ever faced. However, it also provides us with the opportunity to work together and take ownership of our actions. We can reduce our production of green house gas emissions and protect the natural resources on which we depend, but this requires an acknowledgement of the link between energy, nature and our climate and actions. It is predicted that South Africa will be one of the countries worst impacted by climate change. The country can expect average temperature increases between 1°C and 3°C by the mid-21st century, accompanied by an up to 30% reduction in rainfall, an increased incidence of droughts, floods and intense storms, and an up to 1 m rise in sea level.
The social, economic and environmental impacts of these changes in South Africa’s climate could be immense. Decreasing agricultural, forestry, livestock and fish stock yields could greatly threaten food and job security, while the collapse of South Africa’s unique ecosystems could mean extinction for many of the country’s magnificent plant and animal species and threaten the lives of us all, as we are directly dependent on natural resources for our survival. Again, we need to use this as an opportunity to act now and support sustainable solutions that reduce our vulnerability and the risks to our climate.
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