Much more money is needed to adapt countries and communities to the effects of climate change. The amount allocated by countries worldwide will have to increase five to ten times to a maximum of 300 billion dollars. This is stated in the report State and Trends in Adaptation, which was published in the run-up to an international climate summit that the Netherlands is organising next Monday.
In the report of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) climate institute, concerns are expressed about the impact the coronacrisis has on climate policy. “Climate change does not stop as a result of covid-19, nor should it apply to the urgent task of preparing humanity for a life with the many consequences of a warming planet,” the report says. Because climate change is an “even greater existential threat than covid-19.
The GCA has been established in the Netherlands for several years. It signals that last year less money was allocated to what is called climate adaptation. This means adapting to the effects of climate change that occur in any case, even though countries are trying to reduce their emissions. Over the past year, over 50 million people were victims of a record number of weather extremes such as prolonged drought, storms or floods.
‘No vaccine for climate’
Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is involved in the GCA. At an online briefing for international media, he called on politicians to take more action. “The climate is changing much faster and more dramatically than we thought. We see severe forest fires, prolonged drought, heavy rainfall, melting ice in Antarctica and the Arctic, and we have no time to waste.”
Ban Ki-moon also said that he was very concerned that the post-corona recovery plans will lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. “We must remember: there is no vaccine to solve the climate problem.”
According to Director Patrick Verkooijen of the Global Center on Adaptation, it is important to make good use of the post-coronacrisis period. “With governments starting to invest trillions of dollars to recover from the pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to build a resilient and climate-resilient future by integrating climate adaptation into fiscal incentives and recovery plans.”
In addition, he says, the money for adaptation pays back double and crosswise. “Every dollar, pound, or euro invested in climate-resilient infrastructure, early warning systems for extreme weather, or restoring mangrove forests delivers a higher return on investment than costs.”
According to the new report, the most urgent challenge for the coming year lies in Africa. Sub-Saharan continent has food supply problems. As a result of extreme weather and locust pests, malnutrition is most common here. Over 670 million people, or more than half of the African population, suffered from food insecurity last year. That is, they could not always count on enough healthy food.
Young people and scientists
In addition to the publication of the new report, several thousand scientists are today calling on politics to take climate more seriously. Man has always adapted to changing circumstances in history, they say. But now the world is simply not sufficiently prepared for the climate effects that will arise.
They warn of growing poverty, water shortages and increasing migration if too little action is taken. The statement by the scientists, in which five Nobel Prize winners are involved, is distributed by the University of Groningen.
More than one million young people from 115 countries are also turning to politics. They believe that a ‘decade of action’ should follow to address the cause of climate change and make the world more climate resilient. They say that young people will be most affected by the effects of climate change throughout their lives.