Climate researchers and scientists worldwide have warned that the ongoing human-induced activities worsening climate change are pushing the entire planet toward doomsday. The consequences that the planet is witnessing in the form of climate disasters such as floods, tsunamis, wildfires, avalanches, and landslides are just the beginning. But, there must be an adequate system and stringent policies in place to minimize the loss these disasters can have on each sector of the economy. The Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDR Mami Mizutori highlighted a similar approach and said, “Disasters can be prevented, but only if countries invest the time and resources to understand and reduce their risks”.
Climate change disasters denting global economies
The recently released Global Assessment Report (GAR2022) by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) highlighted that there is a possibility that the world could face about 560 disaster events annually which is 1.5 per day by 2030 if the current state of the climate change persists.
The research report released during the UN climate negotiators' meeting in Germany over the “loss and damage” agenda mentioned those climate-vulnerable nations faced the wrath of extreme weather conditions. They demanded funds to tackle the climate change impacts. As per the research, the growing heatwave conditions, change in rainfall patterns and other climate disasters such as floods, and tsunami has dented the economy of these developing countries.
The loss and damage were observed in the research to measure the estimates of how the global economy might have grown if the circumstances were different from reality. Over the last two decades, these countries have witnessed a major 20 percent decline in their wealth which is worth $525 billion due to global warming and altered rainfall patterns, the report added.
Immediate financial support to developing countries
The most affected are developing and poorer countries as they do have not enough funds to build a resilient system to tackle the impacts of climate change. Recently during Asian Security Summit, Fiji’s Defence Minister Inia Seruira draws the attention of the world as he mentioned that climate change is a greater threat to the country than war.
He issued this statement at the summit in Singapore focused on China-US tensions and the Russia-Ukraine war and highlighted that climate change impacts are prevalent and pose a bigger risk than the consequences of war. He further added that weaponry such as machine guns, and fighter jets are a secondary concern as the climate change impacts are a severe and primary threat to the nations’ existence.
Climate-related disasters such as cyclones, floods, and continuously rising sea levels have drastically impacted Fiji and other Pacific countries over the past years. The Floods in Fiji due to tropic cyclones have destroyed thousands of people's lives, cost their homes in recent years, and dented the nation's economic condition.
The Pacific states have urged the developed rich nations to take positive climate actions immediately to curb climate change.
To tackle the climate change impacts the developing countries came together and pledged $100 billion a year back in 2009 but that commitment is still pending completion. During the COP26 climate summit at Glasgow, countries joined hands again and the UN asked them to fulfil their commitment by 2023. But as per the available data countries haven't done enough to achieve the set target.
Recently UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged developed nations to make significant efforts in achieving their commitment to mobilize $100 billion annually. While pointing out the rich nations UN chief highlighted that the major economies contribute about 80% of the total GHG emissions and they must take proactive actions to curb the impacts. “We also need a radical boost for adaptation and early warning systems,” he added.
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