Nairobi: As temperatures rise and local weather change impacts intensify, nations should urgently step up motion to adapt to the brand new local weather actuality or face critical prices, damages and losses, a brand new UN Surroundings Programme (UNEP) report stated on Thursday.
Adaptation – lowering international locations’ and communities’ vulnerability to local weather change by rising their skill to soak up impacts – is a key pillar of the Paris Settlement on Local weather Change.
The settlement requires its signatories to implement adaptation measures via nationwide plans, local weather info programs, early warning, protecting measures and investments in a inexperienced future.
The UNEP Adaptation Hole Report 2020 finds that whereas nations have superior in planning, enormous gaps stay in finance for creating international locations and bringing adaptation tasks to the stage the place they carry actual safety in opposition to local weather impacts equivalent to droughts, floods and sea-level rise.
Private and non-private finance for adaptation should be stepped up urgently, together with sooner implementation. Nature-based options — domestically acceptable actions that tackle societal challenges, equivalent to local weather change, and supply human well-being and biodiversity advantages by defending, sustainably managing and restoring pure or modified ecosystems — should additionally develop into a precedence.
“The hard truth is that climate change is upon us,” UNEP Govt Director Inger Andersen stated.
“Its impacts will intensify and hit vulnerable countries and communities the hardest — even if we meet the Paris Agreement goals of holding global warming this century to well below 2 degrees and pursuing 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
“As the UN Secretary-General has said, we need a global commitment to put half of all global climate finance towards adaptation in the next year,” she added.
“This will allow a huge step up in adaptation — in everything from early warning systems to resilient water resources to nature-based solutions.”
Essentially the most encouraging discovering of the report is that 72 per cent of nations have adopted not less than one national-level adaptation planning instrument. Most creating international locations are making ready Nationwide Adaptation Plans.
Nevertheless, the finance wanted to implement these plans just isn’t rising quick sufficient.
The tempo of adaptation financing is certainly rising, nevertheless it continues to be outpaced by quickly rising adaptation prices. Annual adaptation prices in creating international locations are estimated at $70 billion. This determine is anticipated to achieve $140-300 billion in 2030 and $280-500 billion in 2050.
There are some encouraging developments. The Inexperienced Local weather Fund (GCF) has allotted 40 per cent of its complete portfolio to adaptation and is more and more crowding-in non-public sector funding.
One other necessary growth is rising momentum to make sure a sustainable monetary system. Nevertheless, elevated private and non-private adaptation finance is required. New instruments equivalent to sustainability funding standards, climate-related disclosure rules and mainstreaming of local weather dangers into funding choices can stimulate investments in local weather resilience.
Implementation of adaptation actions can also be rising.
Since 2006, near 400 adaptation tasks financed by multilateral funds serving the Paris Settlement have taken place in creating international locations. Whereas earlier tasks not often exceeded $10 million, 21 new tasks since 2017 reached a price of over $25 million. Nevertheless, of over 1,700 adaptation initiatives surveyed, solely three per cent had already reported actual reductions to local weather dangers posed to the communities the place the tasks have been being applied.
Nature-based options for adaptation could make an enormous contribution, says the report.
It locations a particular give attention to nature-based options as low-cost choices that scale back local weather dangers, restore and shield biodiversity and convey advantages for communities and economies.
An evaluation of 4 main local weather and growth funds — the International Surroundings Facility, the Inexperienced Local weather Fund, the Adaptation Fund and the Worldwide Local weather Initiative — recommended that assist for inexperienced initiatives with some aspect of nature-based options has risen over the past twenty years.
Cumulative funding for local weather change mitigation and adaptation tasks below the 4 funds stood at $94 billion. Nevertheless, solely $12 billion was spent on nature-based options — a tiny fraction of complete adaptation and conservation finance.
In accordance with the report, reducing greenhouse gasoline emissions will scale back the impacts and prices related to local weather change. Attaining the two-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Settlement may restrict losses in annual development to as much as 1.6 per cent, in comparison with 2.2 per cent for the three-degree Celsius trajectory.
All nations should pursue the efforts outlined in UNEP’s Emissions Hole Report 2020, which known as for a inexperienced pandemic restoration and up to date Nationally Decided Contributions that embody new net-zero commitments.
Nevertheless, the world should additionally plan for, finance and implement local weather change adaptation to assist these nations least accountable for local weather change however most in danger.
Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated to hit the flexibility of nations to adapt to local weather change, investing in adaptation is a sound financial resolution.