NAIROBI, Sep 22 (IPS) – African countries are increasingly exposed to deadly climate-related disasters. Recent devastating extreme events include intense, devastating earthquakes in Morocco, followed shortly by catastrophic floods in Libya in September that left 11,300 people dead, according to the Libyan Red Crescent.
A quarter of the Libyan port city of Derna – the epicenter of this tragedy – has been wiped off the map. Pollution caused by global warming has made tragedy in Libya 50 times more likely and 50% worse.
“As global warming intensifies, the outlook deteriorates, losses and damage increase and become increasingly difficult to avoid, the projections are dire: regional disparities and food security are on the verge of collapse. ‘affect tens, if not hundreds of millions of people in low- and middle-income countries. “Flood risk is expected to result in 48,000 additional child deaths by 2030,” said Dr. Adelle Thomas, lead author of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC) of the United Nations – the sixth in a series of reports. which evaluate scientific, technical and socio-economic information regarding climate change.
“For small islands and coastal communities, slow-onset and extreme events threaten to make these places uninhabitable. In this context, we see that current financial and institutional structures fail to comprehensively address loss and damage, particularly in vulnerable developing countries. More than 50 percent of the increase in debt in vulnerable countries is linked to financing recovery and reconstruction after a disaster. This is an unfair and unsustainable situation in which those least responsible for climate change bear the burden and costs of loss and damage.
Speaking at a special UN meeting on loss and damage on September 20, 2023, Amina J Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, said this was an issue on which the UN Secretary-General “has always been criticized under our leadership”. feet for and to ensure we deliver on our promises in the run-up to COP28. We all know that urgent and collective action is imperative, and this extraordinary meeting is taking place on the sidelines of the Secretary-General’s Climate Ambition Summit.”
Stressing that the global community must come together, redouble efforts to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, and significantly strengthen adaptation resilience in the face of these inevitable changes. It is also equally imperative that the global community addresses the irreversible impacts already triggered.
“Many countries, particularly those least responsible for the current climate crisis, find themselves on the front lines of its effects. To combat climate injustice, a historic decision was taken at COP27 to establish new financing mechanisms, including a loss and damage fund. It is possible to have a safe world, where no one is left behind. Deliver on the promise of the 2030 Agenda as well as the Paris Agreement,” Mohammed emphasized.
The Special Meeting on Loss and Damage supported the efforts of the Transition Committee in line with the mandate given to them by the parties to the Paris Agreement. Stressing that urgent action was needed as the least polluting countries were on the front lines of a deadly climate crisis.
“More than 110 million Africans will be directly affected by climate and water-related hazards in 2022, causing more than $8.5 billion in economic damage. Our projected global economic cost in terms of losses and damages is expected to be in the hundreds of billions by 2030,” Mohammed explained.
At the same time, unsustainable debt burdens, spiraling inflation and currency fluctuations add to the difficulties and difficulties faced by the most vulnerable countries. Initiatives such as boosting the SDGs to achieve the 2030 Agenda are now in place to deliver on the 2-030 promise, offsetting the challenging market conditions facing developing countries and accelerating progress towards the SDGs.
Genaro Matías Godoy González, a youth representative from YOUNGO – the official children and youth group of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) stressed that climate inaction should pay a price and that “ the call for financing losses and damages is inherently a problem. call for both climate action and climate justice. It means hope for reparations for the billions of people whose livelihoods have been lost and the responsibility of policymakers to set the course for a monetary and financial system that helps our world grow but ignores the planetary limits on how we should direct growth.
González spoke about the need for transformative change – recognizing the climate and ecological debt owed to people and ecosystems. To rebuild and regenerate lost livelihoods, international financial institutions have a moral imperative to participate in the transition and transformation of our global financial system.
“Central banks must include the risk of financial inaction in their monetary policy risk assessment, report accordingly and put in place appropriate incentives. Climate finance to address loss and damage should not come at the expense of other forms of climate finance aimed at supporting comprehensive climate action. It must be new and complementary and aligned with the SDGs, nature conservation and the development of climate resilience. They should not add to the debt burden of developing countries that are already trying to survive the climate crisis while being strangled by debt and forced to rely more on nature,” he said.
To highlight the need for effective financial models for loss and damage, Thomas issued a dire warning at the heart of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report: “Human-induced climate change has inflicted severe loss and damage and widespread – disproportionately affecting developing and worst-affected countries. vulnerable among us. The figures paint an alarming picture: around 3.3 billion people live in highly vulnerable countries, exposing them to the most severe climate impacts. Human mortality from extreme events was 15 times higher in highly vulnerable regions.
“Millions of people face acute food insecurity, concentrated in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, least developed countries and small islands. Severe droughts have left nearly six million children in developing countries underweight. Extreme events cause billions of dollars in damages, sometimes exceeding the GDP of developing countries,” added Thomas.
The losses and damage have caused even greater economic chaos and impoverished the most vulnerable regions and populations, including the poor, women, children and indigenous peoples. The scientific evidence is undeniable: urgent, comprehensive and transformative action is imperative to respond to increasing levels of loss and damage.
Report from the UN IPS Office
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