Who will pay for the damage caused by climate change?


Vulnerable countries say they urgently need funding and technical support as they already face deadly climate impacts, which will intensify as the planet warms. According to latest UN report Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “… Every additional 0.5 ° C of global warming causes clearly noticeable increases in the intensity and frequency” of extreme events such as heat waves, heavy rains and droughts.

“We cannot ignore [these impacts] more, “says Adelle Thomas, senior Caribbean research associate at Climate Analytics.” This is happening now in developed countries. [too], she said, referring to the floods in Germany in July which left more than 200 dead and caused up to 5 billion euros (£ 4.2bn / $ 5.8bn) in economic losses.

A study by Christian Aid highlights the devastating economic impact that climate change will inflict on the 65 most vulnerable countries in the world: if global temperatures were to rise by 2.9 ° C, their average GDP would fall by 20% by 2050 and by 64% by 2100. Climate negotiations in November, politicians are now putting the world on the 2.4C path.

Preventive approach

Every year, Fiji faces extreme events, ranging from powerful cyclones to prolonged droughts, said Satyendra Prasad, Fiji’s ambassador to the United Nations. “A tenth of our economy was wiped out by three events last year alone, when we were also battling Covid-19. This is the difference between small and large states,” Prasad said.

In 2021, Fiji launched a parametric insurance scheme, in partnership with United Nations agencies, which provides immediate payments to poor women and other vulnerable communities after a disaster. This targeted funding helps them rebuild their lives after a disaster, says Prasad.

The government is also moving 20,000 people living in 45 inland coastal communities to protect them from rising sea levels, with funds raised by Fiji tax on environment and climate adaptation. “It’s not just about moving houses,” says Prasad. “We need to build new roads, move schools, and provide electricity – all of the things that make life possible.”

The constant pressure to rebuild after extreme events makes it nearly impossible for Fiji to invest in education, health care and infrastructure. “We are spending more money to repair and rebuild schools than to expand education,” said Prasad, adding that money for health care is diverted to social services to help vulnerable communities recover.

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