Climate change is destroying the Global South | climate crisis

Currently in India and Pakistan, record-breaking heat waves are impacting the daily lives of nearly a billion people. The scorching temperatures damaged wheat harvests, prevented many workers from working outdoors, and left people vulnerable to serious health problems and even death.

Our home countries of Kenya and Bangladesh are also suffering: Northern Kenya is facing a prolonged drought that puts rural communities at greater risk of starvation and last year, torrential rains submerged a quarter of Bangladesh and destroyed the homes of millions of people. These are some of the latest examples of how the 3.6 billion people in developing countries are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis, and a preview of what the “new normal” will look like if the global community doesn’t improve its climate soon. action.

Given their power, wealth and responsibility for the climate crisis, the onus is primarily on the rich nations of North America and Europe to help vulnerable countries deal with climate impacts – and this has never been more pressing. Despite the negligible contribution that the most vulnerable countries make to causing climate change, these countries are the most ambitious in tackling it – but they cannot fight this crisis alone. This is not only a moral thing to do, but will also help minimize future challenges and costs, such as disaster recovery efforts and the migration of climate refugees forced to leave their homelands as they become increasingly uninhabitable.

The decision adopted at the UN’s COP26 climate negotiations last year fell short of the expectations of vulnerable developing countries. We cannot wait any longer to act.

This week, the ACT2025 (Allied for Climate Transformation by 2025) consortium, a coalition that strengthens the voices of vulnerable countries in climate negotiations, announced a call to action. for progress at the COP27 conference in Egypt this November.

First, countries – particularly the G7 and G20 nations – must commit to further reducing emissions to maintain the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit) – a threshold that scientists believe will prevent most dangerous climate impacts – within reach. More ambitious climate pledges recently helped the world close the warming gap from an estimated 4 degrees C (39.2 degrees F) to now 2.1 degrees C (35.8 degrees F). However, as each piece of warming will make a huge difference in the scale of climate impacts and their effects on the lives of the most vulnerable, progress made so far has been insufficient.

Second, developed countries must provide adequate funding to help developing countries tackle climate change – and ensure this funding will benefit the most vulnerable by empowering communities to pursue the adaptation solutions they need. This includes providing $600 billion by 2025, a goal developed countries have yet to achieve.

Third, countries should implement stronger adaptation measures, including reaching agreement on global goals on adaptation and how to track progress and provide adequate and quality financing to support adaptation on the ground. Adaptation initiatives range from restoring storm-resistant coastal ecosystems to growing drought-resistant crops. Success will require governments to ensure local communities have decision-making power over adaptation efforts.

Fourth, developed countries must commit to providing special financing for losses and damages that are too extreme for the state and society to adapt. While these impacts are global, they hit the most vulnerable the most, such as low-lying islands disappearing due to rising sea levels, farmers unable to support crops due to extreme heat, or communities forced to leave their ancestral homelands. can no longer support them. This injustice has to be addressed, but so far the only governments offering funds to help victims of climate-related loss and damage are Scotland and the Belgian province of Wallonia – both accepting contributions, but wealthier developed countries now need to take the lead. .

And finally, countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement must implement rules that will hold state and non-state actors accountable for their commitments. This includes ensuring that governments do have the means to achieve the goals they have set and that climate progress is measured accurately and transparently.

Shortly after COP27, we will be a quarter of the way through the decade that scientists agree will be critical to determining the future of life on this planet. What does the world have to show for that? Climate change is at our doorstep, and vulnerable countries have nothing to lose. The world needs all, all together, to quickly and fairly address this global crisis.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of Al Jazeera.


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