Countries hit hardest by climate change need much more money to prepare, UN says

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Top Stories

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People wade through floodwaters in Pakistan after heavy monsoon rains this summer. Scientists say climate change helped drive the deadly floods.

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images

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AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images

Developing countries are going to need a lot more money to deal with the risks they face from climate change, according to a new United Nations report released on Thursday. The impacts from global warming have hit the world’s poorest countries especially hard so far, even though they’re responsible for a relatively small share of the greenhouse gasses that are causing temperatures to rise. Flooding in Pakistan this summer that killed at least 1500 people and a multi-year drought in East Africa are evidence of “mounting and ever-increasing climate risks,” the UN report says. To help developing nations prepare for more extreme storms, heat waves and floods, industrialized countries gave them around $29 billion in 2020. But that’s a fraction of what the developing world needs in order to reduce the damage from extreme weather events, the report says. By the end of the decade, developing countries will likely need up to about 10 times more money every year to adapt to a hotter planet. By midcentury, those annual costs could soar to more than $500 billion.

“The message of this report is clear: strong political will is needed to increase adaptation investments and outcomes,” Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, wrote in a foreword to the report. “If we don’t want to spend the coming decades in emergency response mode, dealing with disaster after disaster, we need to get ahead of the game,” she added. The UN published the report days before its annual climate conference starts in Egypt. In a separate report published last week, the UN said the world isn’t cutting greenhouse gas emissions nearly enough to avoid potentially catastrophic sea level rise and other global dangers. The UN climate negotiations scheduled to begin over the weekend in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh are the 27th Conference of the Parties, or COP27. They are expected to focus on efforts to boost the amount of money that’s available to deal with climate change, especially in developing countries.

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Sayed Khalifa, the head of Egypt’s Syndicate of Agriculture, holds mangrove fruits during a tour of a reforestation project. The newly-planted mangroves are part of a program to boost biodiversity, protect coastlines and fight climate change and its impacts.

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Most climate financing is going to cutting emissions Industrialized nations still haven’t delivered on a longstanding pledge to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries adapt to climate change and to cut emissions in order to limit further warming, or what’s known …

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