A villager walks into a dry pond in the village of Bandai, West India’s Pali district on May 11, 2022 ( AFP / Prakash SINGH )
Drought, crop losses, rising water levels… Climate change is already causing death and destruction in poor countries, and the call for rich countries is growing to help them financially adapt to this new reality. †
Financing the “loss and damage” suffered by poor countries is at the center of international negotiations this week in Bonn, Germany, ahead of the UN’s November COP27 summit in Egypt.
“The consequences of climate change are limitless,” UN-Climate boss Patricia Espinosa recalled. “They continue to disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people, communities and countries in particular.”
As climate negotiators meet in Germany, the Horn of Africa is hit by a drought that threatens tens of millions of residents with famine.
Even if the link between this episode and global warming has not been proven, “this kind of impact is a solid case for the + loss and damage + fund,” Mohamed Adow, director of the think tank Power Shift Africa, told AFP. † “Rich countries that block the ‘loss and damage’ process will increasingly have the blood of victims of climate change on their hands.”
Developing countries want a specific fund to help poor countries, least responsible for climate change, deal with its effects, while rich countries, primarily the United States, prefer to rely on pre-existing systems .
Ali Abdullahi Mohamed, 27 months, suffers from severe malnutrition and will be examined by a nurse at a hospital in drought-ravaged Mogadishu, Somalia, on June 1, 2022 (AFP/Ed RAM)
“We know that vulnerable countries and communities are facing the devastating effects of climate change, just like people in the United States,” US Representative Trigg Talley told delegates, referring to increased humanitarian aid, better climate disaster warning systems or better access to insurances.
– “Water Drop” –
At COP26 in Glasgow (UK) at the end of 2021, poor countries reluctantly accepted a formal dialogue on the subject until 2024. Without a specific target, it could only be a forum for discussion, they fear.
“We were presented with a process that lacks a clear goal or vision,” said Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) representative Michai Robertson deplored.
Currently, aid is “a drop in the bucket” compared to the cost of damage, he adds. They do not always cover all damage, while others, such as the loss of cultural property, are difficult to quantify.
There are no “funds for the loss of cultural sites covered by the rising sea,” Marshall Islands representative Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner emphasized.
After several days of discussions in Bonn, developing countries are calling for the issue to be officially placed on the COP27 agenda, believing that the current system is putting the economic costs on the shoulders of the most vulnerable.
In addition, residents often experience “multiple shocks over several consecutive years,” emphasizes Teresa Anderson of the NGO Action Aid.
The thermometer’s rise by an average of almost 1.2°C on a planetary scale since the pre-industrial period is already causing significant damage and the UN’s climate experts, the IPCC, reminded this year that this will only get worse with each passing year. tenth of the warming.
An ocean-flooded cemetery in Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, in December 2008 (AFP/GIFF JOHNSON)
According to a study conducted for the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a group of 55 countries from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and published June 8.
The economic impact is particularly significant for Africa, according to the IPCC. “It’s heartbreaking to see the development gains we’ve made over the past 50 years have been wiped out by a climate crisis that Africa didn’t create,” said Mohamed Adow.
Damage caused by Hurricane Maria in Roseau, Dominica on September 20, 2017 (AFP/STR)
Developed countries have pledged to provide $100 billion a year to the countries of the South from 2020 to help them finance their ecological transition and adapt to the effects of global warming, but this pledge is not yet fulfilled. redeemed. Those same rich countries are most responsible for worsening climate change because they fail to sufficiently reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.