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Climate change is now so severe that unless we speed up our adaptation now, by 2050 more than 250,000 people will die each year directly because of heat, undernutrition, malaria, and diarrhoea.

That’s according to a new report compiled by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Heat and drought will reduce the ability to work outdoors and lead to food price increases.

If we don’t cut emissions sharpish in southern Africa, the heatwaves we experience now could rise 12-fold.

Peter Bruce asks UCT’s Dr Chris Trisos how much time we have to get it right. “There is,” Trisos warns “a brief and rapidly closing window” of opportunity to do so. “Rapid and deep cuts in emissions are required.”

Tell that though to the government as it tries to ensure the jobs in coal are given a just transition to renewable energy. What might be the cost of waiting too long.

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