States - Climate
|Long-Term Climate Risk Index (CRI)|
|2017 Global Climate Risk Index|
As concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to grow to ever more worrying levels, and adaptation becomes more and more challenging, action on climate change is urgent. Climate finance is key to that action, but will make a fundamental difference only if linked to a wider program of measures agreed among nations. These measures are the foundation for the transformation of economies and for a climate -resilient future.
At Copenhagen, political leaders emphasized their strong political will to urgently combat climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Scaled-up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding, as well as improved access, shall be provided to developing countries, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries committed themselves to a goal of jointly mobilizing US$100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations established the High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing in February 2010. Following its terms of reference, the Advisory Group worked around the goal of mobilizing US$100 billion per year by 2020. The Advisory Group concluded that it is challenging but feasible to meet that goal. Funding will need to come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance, the scaling up of existing sources and increased private flows. Grants and highly concessional loans are crucial for adaptation in the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa.
Strong commitments to domestic mitigation and the introduction of new public instruments based on carbon pricing are important for mobilizing climate financing, both public and private. Instruments based on carbon pricing are particularly attractive because they both raise revenue and provide incentives for mitigation actions.
Universally eulogized as a panacea for global warming by limiting the global temperature increase to between 1.5 – 2.0 degrees Centigrade, the landmark Paris Agreement entered into force on November 04, 2016, a month after the 55/55 ratification threshold was reached. The agreement was concluded at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
As part of the international climate policy regime, national governments are obligated to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to achieve stabilization of GHG in the atmosphere, with a timeframe that adequately allows for adaptation to climate change. Thus, an INDC essentially indicates a country’s contribution to achievement of the universal target set in the Paris Agreement and the accompanying compliance mechanism at country level.
Following the decision of the IPCC at its 43rd Session to accept the invitation from the UNFCCC, at its 44th Session, the Panel approved the outline of Global Warming of 1.5 °C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
Other countries featuring in the ‘extreme risk’ category include: Madagascar (3), Nepal (4), Mozambique (5), Haiti (7), Afghanistan (8), Zimbabwe (9), Myanmar (10), Ethiopia (11), Cambodia (12), Thailand (14) and Malawi (15). According to Maplecroft, the countries with the most risk are characterised by high levels of poverty, dense populations, exposure to climate-related events; and their reliance on flood and drought prone agricultural land. Africa features strongly in this group, with the continent home to 12 out of the 25 countries most at risk.
Europe appeared to be getting a taste of things to come during the summer of 2017, as heat waves, tornadoes and storms swept across the continent, and there were three times more forest fires than average. Hospital admissions spiked and weather-related deaths were reported in several countries. A scorching heat wave nicknamed "Lucifer" has swept through southern Europe, wreaking havoc as temperatures soared above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), from Spain in the west to the Balkan states in the east. Crops have wilted, water sources evaporated and wildfires have been raging. A study published August 2017 in The Lancet Planetary Health journal found that weather-related disasters could affect around two-thirds of the European population each year by the year 2100, with weather-related deaths increasing fiftyfold.
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