Not focusing on adaptation to climate change is myopic and risks losing sight of long-term impact.
This appeared to be the kernel of the message as the Global Commission on Adaptation issued a new report, which sheds light upon the threats posed by climate change as well as the need for the international community to focus on adaptation to climate change as a preemptive strategy.
According to the report, climate-related impacts will push more than 100 million people within developing countries below the poverty line by 2030. Without adaptation agricultural growth will decrease by 30 percent and the people facing lack of water one month per year will reach $5 billion by 2050.
“Climate change is a terrible threat to creation, to our countries and communities. However, this catastrophic threat can be handled, if we promptly invest in adaptation strategies and projects that help communities adjust,” said Mattias Söderberg, co-chair of the ACT Alliance working group on climate change.
The report stresses how investing in adaptation would reduce displacement due to climate -related disasters, protect biodiversity and have the potential of a $7 trillion in total net benefit.
“ACT Alliance welcomes the findings of the Global Report on Adaptation. There is no doubt that investing in adaptation makes humanitarian and financial sense. Lack of adaptation will lead to climate-related loss and damage and require additional investments,” said Söderberg.
“Governments have promised to deliver climate finance to developing countries, but until now, they have failed to prioritise adaptation, and instead focused on mitigation strategies and investments. This attitude is myopic and focuses on the immediate consequences rather than on long term solutions. By 2020 the total annual climate finance will probably reach $100 billion; it should be balanced between mitigation and adaptation.
“I hope governments read the report carefully, especially its conclusions. The Climate Summit will meet in New York on September 23, 2019 and we expect to hear more pledges in support of adaptation. That is what is needed now!” concluded Söderberg.