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189 million people a year affected by extreme weather in developing countries as rich countries slow to pay climate impact costs – World

Low-income countries pay highest price as fossil fuel emissions and profits soar

On average, 189 million people a year have been affected by extreme weather events in developing countries since 1991 – the year a mechanism was first proposed to meet the costs of climate impacts on developing countries. low income – according to a new report released today.

The report, The Cost of Delay, by the Loss and Damage Collaboration – a group of more than 100 researchers, activists and policymakers from around the world – highlights how rich countries have repeatedly blocked their efforts to provide dedicated funding to developing countries. development that bear the costs of a climate crisis that they did little to cause.

Analysis shows that in the first half of 2022, six fossil fuel companies combined have made enough money to cover the cost of major extreme weather and climate events in developing countries and still have nearly $70 billion left. dollars in profits.

The report finds that 55 of the most climate-vulnerable countries suffered climate-induced economic losses totaling more than half a trillion dollars in the first two decades of this century, as fossil fuel profits soar. arrow, leaving people in some of the poorest places on earth on foot. The law project.

The report also finds that the fossil fuel industry made enough super profits between 2000 and 2019 to cover the costs of climate-induced economic losses in 55 of the most climate-vulnerable countries almost sixty times as much.

Financing to address “loss and damage” – the term used to refer to the destructive impacts of climate change that are not avoided through mitigation or adaptation – is expected to be the defining issue of COP27, the talks of the climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in November as developing countries call for action after decades of delay.

The report estimates that since 1991, developing countries have recorded 79% of recorded deaths and 97% of the total recorded number of people affected by the effects of extreme weather events. The analysis also shows that the number of extreme weather and climate events experienced by developing countries more than doubled during this period, with more than 676,000 people killed.

The African continent as a whole produces less than 4% of global emissions and the African Development Bank recently reported that the continent is losing between 5 and 15% of its GDP per capita growth due to climate change.

Lyndsay Walsh, Oxfam’s climate policy adviser and co-author of the report, said: “It is an injustice that polluters who are disproportionately responsible for escalating greenhouse gas emissions continue to reap the rewards. these huge profits as climate-vulnerable countries have to foot the bill for climate impacts that destroy people’s lives, homes and jobs.

“This is not a future reality, it is happening now, as we are seeing with the devastating floods in Pakistan and the unprecedented drought in East Africa.

“But it’s not too late. COP27 starts in just two weeks and funding to address loss and damage needs to be agreed. The news that the issue will be on the COP27 agenda is welcome and an ambitious outcome is essential not only for those dealing with climate impacts in developing countries, but also to maintain trust and credibility.

“We must end this delay. The best time to start was 31 years ago, the next best time is now.

At COP26 last year, developing countries united in calling for the creation of a loss and damage financing mechanism, to ensure a comprehensive approach to climate impacts, but this was rejected by developing countries. developed countries in favor of a three-year dialogue – the Glasgow Dialogue – without a binding result.

Professor Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh, said: “As one of the few people to have attended every COP for the past three decades, I have personally been witnessed the resistance of developed countries to every attempt by vulnerable developing countries to discuss the loss and damage caused by human-induced climate change. If it is not on the agenda from COP27, the UNFCCC will have failed in its responsibilities.

Disastrous floods in Pakistan this year have directly affected at least 33 million people and the costs have been estimated at over $30 billion. Yet the UN’s humanitarian appeal for the floods is set at just $472.3 million (just over one percent of what is needed), and only 19 percent is funded. The flood response is not considered sufficient to help the millions of people who have lost their livelihoods and homes and are facing hunger, disease and psychological impacts.

Pakistan will need to take out another loan from the IMF to help recover from the floods, in contrast, funds from a Loss and Damage Facility would be new and additional and come in the form of grants, to ensure that the country was not burdened with debt as a result of a weather-induced catastrophe.

Every fraction of a degree of additional warming means more climate impacts with losses from climate change in developing countries estimated at between $290 billion and $580 billion by 2030. These estimates do not include non-economic loss and damage , such as psychological impacts and biodiversity. losses, which are profound but cannot be fully translated into monetary terms, meaning the actual cost is far higher than what is accounted for.

With current global policies expected to result in a warming of around 2.7°C above pre-industrial levels and the huge gaps between the amount of finance needed by developing countries to adapt and what is being provided, the urgent need for funding to deal with loss and damage is cleared.

Notes to Editors

  • The full report “The cost of delay: why funding to address loss and damage must be agreed at COP27” is available here.
  • The Loss and Damage Collaboration (L&DC) is a group of practitioners, researchers, activists, creative practitioners and policymakers who work together to ensure that vulnerable developing countries, as well as vulnerable people and communities who make them up, receive the support they need to fight climate change. related losses and damages. The L&DCs represent a range of organizations including the Climate Leadership Initiative: Empowering the New Generation, the International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN).
  • “Loss and damage” generally refers to the consequences of climate impacts that cannot or have not been avoided through mitigation or adaptation. “Loss” can refer to loss of life, livelihood or culture and “damage” can relate to, among other things, infrastructure or ecosystems.
  • Data on the number of extreme weather events, people affected and deaths were collected from CRED’s emergency disaster database. It is a global database of natural and technological disasters that contains data on the occurrence and effects of more than 21,000 disasters around the world from 1900 to the present day.
  • Fossil fuel earnings data for six major fossil fuel companies in the first six months of 2022 was gathered from publicly released first and second quarter earnings of BP, Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Total and Eni .
  • The costs of extreme weather events in developing countries during the first six months of 2022 were calculated using Aon’s Global Catastrophe Recap: 1H report.
  • Fossil fuel industry super-profits from 2000 to 2019 were estimated using Verbruggen’s 2022 analysis of oil and gas rents, available here. This uses data from the World Bank, which estimates annual rents from crude oil, natural gas and other resources. Figures are expressed in US dollars in 2020 terms.
  • Data on economic losses in 55 of the most climate-vulnerable countries between 2000 and 2019 come from the V20 2022 report.
  • A methodological note is available for the report here.
  • According to Climate Action Tracker, policies currently in place around the world are expected to result in a warming of around 2.7°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • Estimates of the costs of loss and damage in developing countries by 2030 are taken from the 2018 analysis by Markandya and González-Eguino.
  • The UN Pakistan flood response appeal page is here.
  • African emissions from Our World in Data:

Contact information

For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Florence Ogola, Oxfam International +254 715115042 / +254 733770522 / [email protected] or Teo Ormond-Skeaping – [email protected]

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