Poor Countries Complain that They Were Only Given Eighty Billion Dollars

Now that the mainstream media is finally acknowledging that adapting to climate change is a necessity, Navin Khadka, writing for the BBC, laments that Low-income countries ‘can’t keep up’ with impacts.

Organisations representing 90 countries say that their plans to prevent damage have already been outpaced by climate-induced disasters, which are intensifying and happening more regularly. The UN says the number of developing countries with climate adaptation plans has increased. But it stresses that there’s limited evidence these plans have reduced any risks.

Sounds typical of government. As I’ve said before, Richmond, a large city near Vancouver that has a lot of land that is near sea level, has done an excellent job at planning for climate change and is already acting on that plan, so it can be done.

Their call for action comes as the UN’s climate science body prepares to publish its latest assessment on Monday about the state of global warming. The report, compiled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will provide a scientific assessment of current and future climate change, and be a key reference for policymakers at the UN climate summit in Glasgow this November.

I will read the report once it’s released and see what changes they’ve made from the previous iteration.

The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since the industrial era began, and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.

Temperatures will keep increasing no matter what we do. We can only slow the increase. As I have written many times before, how will governments cut emissions? The media keeps pretending that governments have a magic wand they can wave to do this. What is the plan?

“We used to see category four hurricanes, so that’s what we have prepared for with our adaptation plans, but now we are being hit by category five hurricanes,” says Diann Black Layner, chief climate negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States. “Category five hurricanes bring winds as strong as 180 miles per hour which the roofs cannot withstand because it creates stronger pressure inside our houses.”

What the eff is a “climate negotiator”? Presumably they are negotiating with the UN for funding?

“After three cyclones, communities in the northern part of our country have seen the sea walls built as part of their adaptation plans crumbling,” says Vani Catanasiga, head of the Fiji Council of Social Services – a group representing Fijian NGOs in the country’s Disaster Management Council. “The water and the wind repeatedly battering the settlements even displaced some locals.”

Why did the sea walls fail? How old were they?

“The rains have become so intense that we have seen huge, sudden floods sweeping away [trenches and trees planted to help prevent soil erosion],” said Jackson Muhindo, a [Ugandan] climate change and resilience coordinator for Oxfam [in the Rwenzori region]. “As a result, there have been multiple landslides on mountain slopes which have buried settlements and farms. Adaptation works based on soil conservation are proving to be increasingly useless in the wake of these extreme weather events.”

Geostabilization is hard. Even with rock, cement, and serious construction equipment, it’s not always successful. Are the trenches being dug by hand?

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change says more than 80% of developing countries have begun formulating and implementing their national adaptation plans. But a study by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), published last month, suggests that the 46 of the world’s least-developed countries don’t have the financial means to “climate proof” themselves.

This isn’t surprising. When you are having trouble feeding your people, longer term concerns tend to be ignored.

The IIED says these countries need at least $40bn (£28.8bn; €33.8bn) a year for their adaptation plans. But between 2014-18, just $5.9 billion of adaptation finance was received.

And now that countries have had to break their budgets to pay for government shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s hard to see how more money will be forthcoming.

Under the UN climate convention, the EU and 23 developed countries have pledged to make $100bn available every year to fund climate-related projects in developing nations – like schemes to cut emissions, and adaptations to mitigate damage caused by weather-induced disasters.

I’m not happy with my government committing my taxes to other countries when it is borrowing to fund CERB (income for people furloughed due to the pandemic) and related programs. It’s not charity when the money is taken from me at the point of a gun, it’s theft. The tyranny of the majority has given us one of the most fiscally foolish governments ever. At least they legalized pot, I suppose.

From 2020, this money will be passed on through the Green Climate Fund, Global Environment Facility and other such agencies. But developing countries argue that promise has largely been unkept. A report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed developed countries had made nearly $80bn available in 2018 as total climate finance. But it found that only 21% of that money was provided for adapting to climate impacts, while most went towards cutting carbon emissions. Developing countries have criticised climate finance figures provided by developed world, pointing out they also include money from regular aid payments.

When someone gives you eighty billion dollars, you shouldn’t complain. How much of the money actually got used to fund CO2 emission reduction and climate adaptation, and how much was wasted or stolen by corrupt businesses and government officials?

“When you have other issues like [bad] governance, poverty and now Covid, it becomes very difficult for the plans to work. They simply aren’t a government’s priority,” according to Carlos Aguilar, a climate adaptation expert with Oxfam.

So the money is being wasted or diverted to things other than what it was intended for? This doesn’t make me want to support these UN programs. I would rather the money went to charity. Government is good at waste. I understand that helping poor countries is a noble thing, but governments are just not competent to do it with anything remotely resembling efficiency.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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2 Responses to Poor Countries Complain that They Were Only Given Eighty Billion Dollars

  1. Which “climate change” need we adapt to? The soviet socialist Sharknado scenario of 1961? The Global Freezing and Nuclear Winter superstitions of the early 1970s? The Bozone Hole (remember)? China-Gore Global Warmunism? All of the prophecy and predictions betting someone else’s money for the above list turned out the opposite of correct. Yet their dupes continue to believe each and every one, consistency be damned.

    • jimbelton says:

      There’s solid evidence that global average temperatures are increasing. Regardless the cause, we will have to adapt to any changes this brings. For Canada, these are likely to be beneficial overall, and will reduce the amount of gas and oil we burn for heating.

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