Activist countries

UN urges rich countries to seek compensation to tackle climate change losses

From drought to floods and rising sea levels, the cost of damage caused by climate change will only increase as the world heats up, prompting concern from senior officials and activists as to how to pay it.

“Loss and damage from the climate crisis is not a future event. It is happening now, all around us,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a visit to Pakistan, which recently suffered devastating floods that displaced hundreds of thousands of people and left more than a thousand dead.

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Floods in Pakistan

“Developed countries must step in and provide Pakistan and other frontline countries with the financial and technical resources they need to survive extreme weather events like these deadly floods,” he said.

“I urge governments to address this issue at COP 27 with the seriousness it deserves,” Guterres added, referring to the UN climate summit in November to be held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh.

Pakistan, along with dozens of other developing countries around the world, are struggling to adapt to the effects of climate change, with many calling on wealthier, high-emitting countries to help pay for it. the bill.

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About reports and data

Guterres’ comments come a day after the UN’s World Meteorological Organization warned that Africa’s islands and coastal states – and the 116 million people who call them home – will be at high risk from rising weather. seas and will spend around $50 billion in damage by 2050.

He added that the drought of the last 50 years in the Horn and southern Africa, exacerbated by climate change, has claimed the lives of more than half a million people, with losses estimated at 70 billion dollars. More than 1,000 floods in the same period killed more than 20,000 people, he said.

The report’s findings have sparked renewed calls for compensation for the continent by many who believe that wealthy countries that emit far more global warming gases into the atmosphere should pay for climate disasters, known as the name of “loss and damage” in the climate negotiations.

“As a continent, we feel that the issue of loss and damage needs to be addressed,” said Harsen Nyambe, director of environment sustainability at the African Union. “It is a controversial issue and developed countries are afraid because it has serious financial implications.”

Loss and damage and compensation

Loss and damage negotiations were a sticking point at last year’s UN climate conference and are expected to feature prominently again this year at the climate summit in November.

Developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific have come together in the Climate Vulnerable Forum to address loss and damage and demand compensation.

The bloc, currently chaired by Ghana, was formed in 2009 and brings together 48 of the most climate-sensitive developing countries that have a combined population of 1.2 billion but a collective share of global emissions of just 5%.

Speaking to The Associated Press, Kenyan climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti warned of “loss of lives and livelihoods, and damage to our lands and communities” due to climate change.

“Vulnerable countries lack the financial capacity to adapt to these intensifying climate impacts, making climate finance a matter of global justice,” she added.