Vice President Kamala Harris gave a stern warning about the "existential threat" of climate change while speaking with farmers in Africa.
Harris, visiting Panuka Farm in Zambia on Saturday, thanked the farmers for a tour of their facilities and demonstrations of their work before turning the conversation to the climate.
"The impact of the climate crisis is unmistakable, and without any question in my mind, poses an existential threat to the entire planet," the vice president said.
"The relevance of the topic as a global priority, as it relates to this continent, also includes the fact that the continent of Africa and the nations of Africa really are some of the lowest emitters in terms of greenhouse gas emissions — but are paying some of the highest costs," Harris said.
Harris is in Zambia as part of a week-long visit to the African continent.
Her visit to Panuka Farm is intended to bring attention to climate-resilient agriculture and food security amid unpredictable climate change.
"So, when I think about the work that is happening here — the work you're doing here, Panuka — it is not only a model of innovation, and inspired by, as you said, what we must do to be clever. But it is also an example of work that should happen around the country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — around the world to do the same," Harris told the farmers.
Harris also related food scarcity to issues in the West, such as the ongoing refugee crisis, stating that famine and food insecurity can cause groups to flee their homeland.
"And it's a simple point, which is if people don't have food to eat where they live, they are likely to leave that place and often move in large numbers to a place that may not speak the same language or hold the same customs or culture — which invariably might lead to conflict. So the connection between these issues is quite clear," the vice president concluded.
Harris is the most senior member of the Biden administration to visit Africa, as Washington looks to build partnerships and bolster Africa’s growth amid global rivalry over the continent.