October 4, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Harris peeks at the peppers on the farm keeping climate change in mind

Harris peeks at the peppers on the farm keeping climate change in mind

LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) – Vice President Kamala Harris On Saturday I traveled down a dirt road to tour a farm outside Zambia’s capital that uses new techniques and techniques to boost the vegetable crop, highlighting ways to secure food supplies in an era of global warming.

“It’s an example of what can be done around the world,” she said, after passing rows of peppers and examining the drip irrigation system.

Unlike the United States, where conversations about climate change usually revolve around replacing fossil fuels with clean energy, in Africa the focus is on expanding access to food. The price hike caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hurt poor countries, and global warming is expected to bring more challenges in the coming years.

Hunger can also lead to instability, leading to migration and conflict.

“The connection between these issues is quite clear,” said Harris.

It is pushing for $7 billion in private sector investment, much of it to boost conservation and improve food production, to help Africa prepare for the impacts of climate change. Her announcement of this goal came as she concluded her week-long visit to Africa, which included earlier stops in Ghana. and Tanzania. The purpose of the trip was to advance US efforts to achieve progress in a part of the world where China’s influence runs deep.

It’s the biggest ticket item Harris has announced, but more work will be needed to follow up.

For example, African Parks, a nonprofit group, has committed to raising $1.25 billion over the next seven years in order to expand its conservation program. Another organization, the One Acre Fund, plans to raise $100 million to plant a billion trees by the end of the decade.

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The politics of climate change are complex in Africa, which has contributed far less to greenhouse gas emissions overall than wealthier places in the world like the United States. According to the International Energy Agency, 43% of Africans will not have access to electricity in 2021, and recent outages have caused frustration..

In Ghana, Harris was questioned at a press conference about how the West could demand that Africa go green and give up the use of its natural resources. It was also pressed on whether rich countries would give $100 billion a year To help poor countries adapt to climate change, a commitment made under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Harris said that it is “very important, as global leaders, that we all speak the truth about the disparities that exist in terms of cause and effect and that we deal with those disparities.” She said there were opportunities in the “clean energy economy” that could help generate growth in Africa.

As for money, President Joe Biden has requested $11 billion in his proposed budget to meet his international obligations.

“We’re waiting for Congress to do its job,” Harris said.