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Climate change may bring new opportunities

Debate on this issue is essential

Climate change may have a drastic effect on food security, access to clean water and human settlements and employment.

With the COP17 conference on climate change coming up in December in Durban, global leaders must find and agree on how all countries can mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, currently threatening the world’s environments.

By 2050, the average rainfall in the summer rain regions of South Africa may have dropped by 5-10 percent and average temperatures are predicted to rise by between 1C and 3C. The frequency of very hot days is set to increase, according to scientists' predictions. It is expected that rainfall will generally shift east, causing higher rainfall along the east coast, increased desertification in the rest of the country and an overall decrease in arable land. Patterns of rainfall are expected to become heavier and less frequent. This is a huge risk to crops and increases the likelihood of flood damage like we saw earlier this year.

This makes debate on the issue an urgent matter. Discussions should increase progressively to find suitable solutions.

On a positive note, the basic human instinct to survive will doubtless lead to major innovation to take place. Already numerous studies have been done by various institutions, such as  UNEP which released a report  "Towards a Green Economy - Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication"

 (http://www.unep.org/GreenEconomy/Portals/93/documents/Full_GER_screen.pdf).

Particularly interesting are findings about planting different types of crops because traditional ones are not yielding the results as it used to due to climate change.

The research, innovation and mounting knowledge of the subject matter should make it possible to identify new horizons (opportunities) for humankind to not only survive, but to prosper. A deep-rooted consciousness about climate change will force us to go green in the future.