The 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change begins in 2022, better known as COP27. This year, more than 100 heads of state and 35,000 delegates from 197 countries will meet in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, between November 6 and 18, to assess how we are dealing with climate change and what actions need to be adapted to that the planet’s temperature does not exceed 1.5ºC by the end of this century.
“In many places, it is too late to adapt to climate change.” That’s how harsh the message launched by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.
Floods in Pakistan, drought in the Horn of Africa and heat waves and record temperatures in the northern hemisphere, “these serious repercussions are occurring at just 1.1ºC of increase in global warming,” says the UN in its report ‘As As the impacts of climate change accelerate, adaptation must become a global priority.’ Tangible consequences may be greater, because “global warming tends to increase from 2.4 to 2.6ºC,” the research warns.
Adapt to climate change
The United Nations report indicates that eight out of ten countries have “at least one national planning instrument.” In addition, a third of the 197 country Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have targets to achieve adaptation. However, the flaw is in the financing.
The estimated needs, according to the UN, vary in a range between 160,000 million dollars and 340,000 million in 2030, numbers that would reach 565,000 million in 2050. However, the amount of money that reaches developing countries to make these plans “are between 5 and 10 times below the estimated needs,” warns the UN.
In 2009, rich countries, responsible for about 75% of total GHG emissions, agreed in Copenhagen to disburse 100,000 million dollars to help developing states deal with this climate emergency. A figure that has never been reached and “the gap continues to widen,” reveals the report.
In the absence of knowing the total amount of the past year, 2020 “closed 17,000 million dollars below,” the report points out. A goal that has already fallen short, “adaptation needs in the developing world will skyrocket to 340,000 million a year by 2030,” warns Guterres. “Support today is less than a tenth of that amount,” he adds.
More climate risks
According to this report, as climate impacts intensify around the world, nations must dramatically increase funding and implementation of actions designed to help nations adapt to “the climate storm.”
On the contrary, this UN report on the adaptation gap considers that “too little and too slow” is being done and that “this failure of climate adaptation puts the world at risk”.
“Climate change is dealing blow after blow to humanity, as we saw throughout 2022,” warns Inger Andersen, the director of UNEP.
Furthermore, as one of the urgent solutions, this UNEP report insists that “the world must urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the impacts of climate change. But we must also urgently increase efforts to adapt to the impacts that are already here and those to come”, insists its executive director.
Among the new disasters caused by climate change this year, this UN report highlights the multi-year drought affecting the Horn of Africa, the unprecedented floods in South Asia and the severe heat waves this summer in the North Hemisphere.
And these severe impacts are coming as the average temperature has risen “just 1.1°C above pre-industrial temperatures.”
In this sense, the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel of Scientists against Climate Change (IPCC) also ensures that climate risks will intensify with each tenth of a degree of increase.
On the other hand, the combined financial flows for adaptation and mitigation in 2020 were reduced by at least 17,000 million from the 100,000 million promised to develop countries.
This UNEP report concludes by stressing that crises such as the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be allowed to derail international efforts to adapt to climate change.
Quite the contrary: unprecedented political will and more long-term investments in adaptation are urgently needed to prevent the adaptation gap from widening.
- Climate change poses ‘serious risks’ to mental health
- How is mental health related to climate change?
- Mental Health: 24×7 accepting hatred and negativity, How’s that gonna work?
- Prioritising Women’s mental health
- What are the 5 signs of mental illness?