Efforts to tackle climate change failing; IFRC

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The efforts worldwide to tackle climate change are at present failing to protect the people who are at most risk, said a new report by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The “World Disasters Report 2020: Come Heat or High Water” said that the countries that were much affected by climate related disasters received only a fraction of the funding for climate change adaptation. This only increased the struggle to protect the people in these countries from aggravating effects of climate change.

The report pointed out that global warming was already devastating lives and livelihoods as well as killing people every year. These will worsen in the coming years, the report added.

The IFRC report said that the intensity and frequency of climatological events were increasing substantially, with more heat waves, temperature, heavy rains and category 4 and 5 storms. It said that the loss of food insecurity, natural resources, health impacts and displacement are on the rise. The report said that consecutive disasters had affected several communities and left them with little time to recover before the next shock arrived.

The report noted that the resources needed to adapt to imminent and current climate driven disaster risks are within reach. It said that an estimated 50 billion US dollars annually was needed to meet the adaptation requirements by 50 developing countries for the coming decade.

The report said that a bulk of funding often do not go to countries facing the highest levels of vulnerability to disaster risk and climate change. It also said that highly vulnerable countries are left behind and received little climate change adaptation support. The IFRC maintained that the greatest challenge was to make sure that the funds were made available to the most vulnerable community. It also warned that the failure to protect the vulnerable people will lead to more climate change disasters.

The World Disasters Report also stated that the number of climate and weather related disasters per decade increased nearly 35 per cent since 1990s.

The Report notes that the stimulus packages currently developed in response to the COVID 19 pandemic was an opportunity to address and reduce climate vulnerability.

IFRC’s Secretary General Jagan Chapagain said that the first responsibility should be to protect communities that are most exposed and vulnerable to climate risks. Despite this, Chapagain said that the world was collectively failing to do this. There was a disconnection between climate risk and funding, the Secretary General said.

Pointing out that Climate adaptation work should not get ignored when the whole world is preoccupied with Covid 19 pandemic, Chapagain said that the two should be tackled together.

FRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network that comprises 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

FINDINGS IN THE REPORT

  • More than 50 million people already affected
  • More than 100 disasters occurred during the first six months of COVID-19 pandemic
  • 83 per cent of all disasters in the last ten years triggered by floods, storms and heat waves.
  • Climate and weather related disasters increasing since the 1960s
  • Weather and climate related disasters killed more than 4,10,000 people in the past ten years A further 1.7 billion people affected by the disasters.

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