The survival of millions of people around the world – especially in developing countries – already depends today and will depend increasingly in the near future on the ability to adapt and withstand the impact of climate change. Climate change is in fact leading to increasingly extreme events such as prolonged and severe droughts, floods, cyclones and hurricanes.
Climate Crisis in Developing Countries
The 48 poorest countries on the planet receive from 2.4 to 3.4 billion dollars a year to reduce the impact of the climate crisis. This is a small amount, which is equivalent to less than one cent of a dollar a day. Oxfam (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief) launched the alarm during the United Nations Climate Summit in New York. For the occasion, the organization presented a new report with particular emphasis on the climate catastrophe that is devastating Mozambique and the Horn of Africa. Here, in fact, millions of people suffer the alternation and consequences of prolonged droughts and destructive cyclones.
In Mozambique, the impact of cyclones Idai and Kenneth has brought more than 2 million people to the brink of famine. This has also increased the spread of diseases such as cholera. Moreover, there have been damage worth $3.2 billion – more than a fifth of Mozambique’s GDP. A similar situation is also affecting the Horn of Africa. The drought there has exhausted more than 15 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
High debt levels in countries such as Somalia and Mozambique only exacerbate the impact of climate change. As a matter of fact, this leads to a decrease in the resources available to reduce CO2 emissions. Somalia’s debt amounts to 75% of GDP and any climate financing granted in the form of loans only plunges the country into a black hole.
Keeping the Promises
According to Oxfam, the world’s major powers are still failing to keep their promises of direct funding for poor countries’ adaptation to the global climate crisis. The paradox is that these countries, while not responsible for climate change, are victims of it. The first measures were taken in 2009, when industrialized countries promised to allocate $100 billion by 2020. The aim was to finance the reduction of global emissions into the atmosphere and allow developing countries to adapt to the climate crisis. However, the promised figure has not yet been reached.
Adapting to climate change and managing the damage caused by its effects is expensive. According to UN estimates, it will cost developing countries between USD 140 and 300 billion by 2030. For this reason, industrialized countries must first of all drastically reduce their CO2 emissions. Secondly, they must provide real aid for the least developed countries, meeting their commitments by 2020.