Climate adaptation needed ‘dramatic’ boost: United Nations environment agency | Indiafleurit


Although policies and planning for climate change adaptation are increasing, funding and implementation are lagging behind, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said in a new report released Thursday.

The Adaptation Gap Report 2021: The Gathering Storm calls for increased funding and action to address the growing impacts of climate change.

“As the world seeks to step up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – efforts that are still not strong enough anywhere – it also needs to dramatically improve its game to adapt to climate change,” he said. said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.

“Change of stage” in ambition

Even if countries “turned off the tap” on emissions today, she added, climate impacts would persist for decades.

“We need a radical change in ambition to adapt for finance and implementation to dramatically reduce damage and loss from climate change,” Ms. Andersen said. “And we need it now. ”

The UNEP report was launched at the United Nations COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, where world leaders come together to make a collective effort to limit global warming, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Countries are currently on track to witness a 2.7 degree rise by the end of the century. Even if warming is kept at 1.5 or 2 degrees, as stated in the 2015 accord, climate risks remain.

Fill the gap

UNEP said greater adaptation ambition, especially for funding and implementation, is also essential to prevent existing gaps from widening.

The report found that adaptation costs would likely peak at around $ 140-300 billion per year by the end of this decade, and $ 280-500 billion per year. by 2050,

In addition, the cost in developing countries is estimated to be between five and ten times higher than current public financing flows for adaptation. In 2019, these countries received some $ 76.9 billion in climate finance for mitigation and adaptation planning and implementation.

The COVID-19 opportunity

The report also revealed how countries are missing the opportunity to use fiscal clawback from the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritize “green” economic growth that also supports adaptation to climate impacts such as droughts, forest fires and floods.

Only a small portion of the $ 16.7 trillion in stimulus funds around the world has been spent on adaptation.

As of June, less than a third of the 66 countries surveyed had explicitly funded COVID-19 measures to tackle climate change. Future public spending could also be hampered by the high cost of debt servicing, combined with reduced public revenue, especially in developing countries.

Progress is underway

The report’s authors also highlighted areas for progress. For example, almost 80% of countries have adopted at least one adaptation planning instrument at the national level, such as a plan, strategy, policy or law, which represents a 7% increase since 2020 .

In addition, the top 10 donors have funded more than 2,600 predominantly adaptation-focused projects over the period 2010-2019, indicating that efforts are stepping up.

That aside, UNEP said countries need to scale up public financing for adaptation through direct investment and overcoming barriers to private sector participation.

They should also consider “high-level climate scenarios,” as detailed in the most recent assessment by the United Nations scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In addition, governments should use post-pandemic fiscal recovery to prioritize interventions that will result in both economic growth and resilience to climate change.

The authorities should also establish “integrated approaches to risk management”, as well as flexible frameworks for financing disasters, the report added, while richer countries should help developing countries “to free up space. budget ”.

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