The global response to climate change is not enough. This was highlighted in an IFCR report.
According to the international organization that unites the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, far too little money is invested where there is the greatest need to adapt to climate change. This fundamental flaw does not protect people who suffer from these changes.
IFCR Secretary General Jagan Chapagain explains:
“Our first responsibility is to protect communities that are most exposed and vulnerable to climate risks. However, our research demonstrates that the world is collectively failing to do this. There is a clear disconnection between where the climate risk is greatest and where climate adaptation funding goes. This disconnection could very well cost lives”.
The climate change report
The report explains that in the last 10 years, 83% of natural disasters have been caused by adverse weather conditions and related events such as floods, storms and heat waves.
Disasters attributable to natural and climate-change-related events have progressively increased. In the last 10 years, they have affected as many as 1.7 billion people worldwide and caused the deaths of 410,000 people, mainly in low and middle-income countries.
It is true that the whole world is currently struggling with the consequences of Covid-19, but it is precisely the resources for economic recovery that can also be used to combat climate change.
The report says that it would take 50 billion US dollars a year to help 50 developing countries cope with the developments needed to combat climate change. It seems a lot, but it should be borne in mind that to recover from Covid, the US has allocated $2.2 trillion, and the EU $750 billion.
“This money should be used for the essential task of creating jobs, whilst at the same time also facilitating a green, inclusive and resilient recovery”.
Governments are asked to:
- Encourage efforts towards a society that invests in climate change mitigation;
- Ensure that schools, hospitals, facilities for the elderly and children, dams, hydroelectric power plants and sanitation facilities are designed to withstand extreme weather events and rising sea levels.
- Review risk management laws, policies and related plans to ensure they are compatible with climate change.
- Invest and design early warning systems that provide timely alerts to communities and adequate protective responses.
- Ensure access to funding for disaster risk management.
The IFCR believes that Covid-19 has triggered a global response to the crisis, the same must be done for the climate, which is a greater challenge than Covid because it threatens our long-term survival.
“We must address this threat by taking action to reverse climate change. In the meantime, we must work to limit the deaths and damage that climate-driven disasters are already driving. We all – governments, donors, the humanitarian, and development, climate and environment communities – need to act effectively before it’s too late. Let’s not miss our chance”.
Jagan Chapagain concludes in this regard:
“Climate adaptation work can’t take a back seat while the world is preoccupied with the pandemic: the two crises have to be tackled together. These disasters are already on the doorstep in every country around the world. We must significantly scale up investment in climate smart actions that strengthens risk reduction and preparedness, alongside climate-smart laws and policies”.
A prompt response saves lives and makes every environment a safer place:
“With challenges like these, international solidarity is not only a moral responsibility, but also the smart thing to do. Investing in resilience in the most vulnerable places is more cost-effective than to accept continued increases in the cost of humanitarian response, and contributes to a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for everyone”.