Oxfam’s response to the IPCC Working Group II Report on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – Global
Responding to the release of the IPCC Working Group II report assessing climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, Oxfam’s Climate Policy Officer Nafkote Dabi said:
“This catalog of pain, loss and suffering should be a wake-up call for everyone. The poorest who have contributed the least to climate change are suffering the most and we have a moral responsibility to help these communities to s ‘adapt.
“Inequality is at the heart of the current climate crisis. In just over 100 days since COP26, the richest 1% of the world’s population has emitted far more carbon than the African population in an entire year. The super-rich are racing the planet’s tiny remaining carbon budget to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Clearly now is the time to reclaim their outsized wealth, power and consumption through wealth taxes or bans on carbon-intensive luxuries like private jets and mega yachts.
“People in the most affected countries don’t need this report to tell them that the climate has changed. The highest price is already paid by the cattle herder in Somalia whose entire herd has died of thirst. By the refugee mother in a gymnasium in the Philippines because her house was swept away just before Christmas.
“No matter how quickly governments and companies reduce their carbon emissions, some of the warming is already linked to our past behavior. It’s too late to focus almost exclusively on mitigation. Billions of people have need for early warning systems, access to renewable energy and improved agricultural production now, not after getting emissions under control.
“Only a quarter of all climate finance going to vulnerable countries is for adaptation. The recent COP26 agreement to double adaptation finance to $40 billion by 2025 will help, but it’s is far from enough. The UN estimates that developing countries need $70 billion every year to adapt, and these costs are not going down. Rich countries are largely responsible for the climate crisis and must do more to support the poorest communities whose citizens struggle to meet their daily needs, let alone prepare for the future.
“The other clear message from this report is that we are all in the driver’s seat. Our foot is on the gas and each press produces more harmful gases and higher temperatures. Every tonne of carbon we avoid increases the chance of having a livable planet – out there is a huge difference between 1.5°C and 1.6°C of heating.
“We have to adapt, and we have to make sure the planet stays adaptable. Because runaway global warming will only lead to events that we can’t build on – deaths, submerged homes, undeveloped land and mass migrations of desperate people.”
Notes to Editors
Photos of the Jubaland drought in Somalia are available for download.
Since COP26, the world’s richest 1% (79 million people) have emitted around 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon. That’s more than the African continent emits in an entire year, home to nearly 1.4 billion people. According to the Global Carbon Project, Africa’s consumption emissions for 2019 (latest year available) were 1.03 billion tonnes (1.03 billion tonnes divided by 365 x 107 = 294 million tonnes emitted by Africa in 107 days). Calculations were made using the *Confronting Carbon Inequality* report from Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute.
Recent data from Oxfam shows that the richest 1% of humanity are responsible for twice as many emissions as the poorest 50%, and that by 2030 their carbon footprint will actually be 30 times higher than the level compatible with the 1.5°C objective of the Paris Agreement.
According to Boat International, the superyacht industry largely ignored the COVID-19 pandemic to record a third year of steady growth in the order book. The 2022 global backlog shows 1,024 projects under construction or on order, an increase of 24.7% compared to 821 last year.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), developed countries provided only around $80 billion in climate finance in 2019. While the UN Secretary-General, Oxfam and others have called for half of the funds to be dedicated to adaptation, only about a quarter of total climate finance is dedicated to adaptation.
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) estimates that annual adaptation costs in developing countries are expected to reach $140-300 billion in 2030 and $280-500 billion in 2050.
The UNFCCC estimates that Somalia may need $48.5 billion to adapt to climate change by 2030. Somalia’s GDP is less than $7 billion (2020).
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