Climate change adaptation takes a tenth of the amount needed: UN, World News
Developing countries need up to 10 times more funds to protect themselves from the increasingly fierce effects of climate change than the world currently anticipated, the UN said on Thursday.
As the COP26 meeting tries to tackle emissions and keep warming under the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, a new report from the United Nations Environment Program stresses the need to prepare countries for the effects that are already starting to be felt.
“Even if we turned off the greenhouse gas emissions tap today, the impacts of climate change would be with us for many decades to come,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.
“We need a radical change in ambition to adapt for finance and implementation to dramatically reduce damage and loss from climate change. And we need it now.”
Struck by storms, floods and droughts intensified by global warming, the world’s poorest nations have put at the heart of the COP26 climate negotiations calls for the richest countries to honor their pledge to provide 100 billion dollars per year.
But only part of that funding pledge – which is not expected to be fulfilled until next year at the earliest – is earmarked for adaptation measures that would help countries reduce the exposure of people and goods to growing threats. of climate change. .
– ‘Parachute jump without parachute’ –
The UNEP report found that developing countries alone will need to spend up to $ 300 billion a year on such measures by 2030, and up to $ 500 billion a year by 2050.
“Overall, estimated adaptation costs in developing countries are five to ten times greater than current public financing flows for adaptation, and the gap is widening,” UNEP said.
In 2019, rich countries provided $ 79.6 billion in climate assistance to developing countries, but two-thirds of that was earmarked for emissions reduction efforts, with adaptation less of a priority.
On Monday, the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, told COP26 delegates that the failure to provide nations with the funds to protect themselves and adapt to climate change was “measured in lives and livelihoods in our communities and that, my friends, is immoral and unjust.
With 1.1 ° C warming since the mid-19th century, the world has seen a torrent of deadly weather disasters intensified by climate change in recent months, from heat waves melting asphalt to flash floods and fires in indomitable forest.
UNEP said governments had so far missed an opportunity to use the Covid-19 pandemic to prioritize green stimulus spending.
“By not investing in climate adaptation, it looks like we went skydiving and decided we didn’t need a parachute,” said Brian O’Callaghan, of the University’s Economic Recovery Project. from Oxford and one of the authors of UNEP. report.