A Canadian oil company has found a giant onshore oil field in Namibia. Critics are worried it could be the next climate change hotspot, CNN reports.

ReconAfrica has secured rights to explore the field and has leased 13,000 square miles in both Namibia and Botswana. ReconAfrica believes the field could contain 12 billion barrels of oil.

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While oil is problematic for multiple reasons, experts worry about the effects on the local economy and country. “Southern Namibia already has twice the global rate of warming. In northern Namibia it is a staggering 3.6 degrees Celsius per century,” said Francois Engelbrecht, a professor at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa shared in CNN, “The northern part of Namibia and Botswana and southern Zambia are likely the region in the Southern Hemisphere that is warming the fastest.”

Source: Sky News/YouTube

Farming will be severely affected by warmer and drier climates and adaptation will be limited. The cattle industry will “likely collapse,” shared Engelbrecht.

“Currently the work that they are doing is not a big deal. It doesn’t have a large environmental or social footprint,” said Jan Arkert, a geologist and activist, referring to ReconAfrica. “But if they find what they are looking for and expand production, the impact will be absolutely devastating for the Delta.”

Read more about oil drilling and offshore oil drilling in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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