Climate change is becoming more common and is proceeding faster. Experts say that there is not enough activity in the world both to combat the problem and to adapt humanity to the new reality. Monday’s meeting of the Global Adaptation Center discussed how to improve the situation of people who are most vulnerable to the increasingly severe consequences of climate change.
The United Nations released a few days ago report warning against ever faster changes in climate. The document showed that extreme weather conditions and sea-level rise are becoming more frequent and with more disastrous consequences than previously suspected. On Monday, during a climate panel in Rotterdam organized by the Global Adaptation Center, calls were made to increase funding and efforts to help humanity adjust to the new reality.
Over 50 ministers, heads of climate organizations and development banks participated in the meeting. The issue of climate change was described as “urgent”. As stated, the results of the report will be one of the most important issues to be discussed at the 26th UN conference on climate change.
Adaptation to the new reality
In a recent press release, experts from the Center said that adaptation – which ranges from building better flood defenses to growing drought-resistant crops and relocating coastal communities to less vulnerable regions – does not receive the same attention or level of action as efforts to reduce emissions greenhouse gases.
For this reason, communities around the world are “exposed to climate threats that are developing faster than predicted.”
– Adaptation [do nowej rzeczywistości – przyp. red.] can no longer be treated with insufficient attention, it was stated. It is imperative that COP26 begins accelerated adaptation efforts to enable the world to keep pace with this deep and far-reaching crisis, experts said.
Combating the climate and the pandemic at the same time
Experts warned that the COP26 summit, which is to be hosted by the United Kingdom in November, will not be successful if it does not make progress in adaptation efforts, such as in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Representatives of African nations, small island developing states and other countries were heard at a meeting in Rotterdam – attended by, among others vulnerable to climate change.
They talked about the difficulties faced by people as a result of severe floods, droughts and storms. The COVID-19 pandemic was also mentioned, which is reversing hard-won development achievements and displacing people to poorer areas and sometimes even beyond national borders because they are unable to survive on their land.
– We are currently living in the eye of the cyclone. Adapting the world to a climate-related crisis is essential to our security, even as we fight a global pandemic, said Patrick Verkooijen, general manager of the Global Adaptation Center. “Millions of lives and the safety of the world’s inhabitants are already under threat,” he added.
The meeting called for an urgent increase in international funding to help finance adaptation efforts in poorer countries.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed stressed the need to “scale up investment in adaptation and resilience massively” which is “absolutely critical to those on the front lines of the climate crisis.”
She noted that only about a fifth of the funds allocated to fighting climate change were allocated to adaptation measures. “Only a fraction” of the estimated $ 70 billion that developing countries need to combat the effects of global heating, she added.
Richer nations were under pressure to spend half of their financial resources dedicated to fighting climate change on adaptation. However, more than a decade after pledging funds to adapt societies to climate change and reduce emissions, the financial contribution remains stubbornly low.
The UN climate chief said on Twitter that at least 125 of 154 developing countries have begun work on national adaptation plans.
Both she and former UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who chairs the Global Adaptation Center, agreed that much more funding is needed to implement all plans. The IMF is to discuss with member countries to allocate a portion of the money to the new Resilience and Sustainability Trust project to help poorer countries undertake reforms to combat climate change.
Main photo source: FRIEDEMANN VOGEL / PAP / EPA