Oxfam reaction to the IPCC’s Working Group II report on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability

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- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/w4hiad/

Responding to the publication of the IPCC’s Working Group II report assessing climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, Oxfam’s Head of Government Relations, Sam Nadel said:

"This catalogue of pain, loss and suffering must be a wake-up call to everyone. The poorest who have done the least to contribute to climate change are suffering the most and we have a responsibility to help those communities adapt and respond to the impacts.

“Inequality is at the heart of today’s climate crisis —since COP26, the richest one percent of the world’s population have emitted far more carbon than the population of Africa does in an entire year. The world’s richest are squandering any prospect we have of limiting global temperatures to 1.5°C. Clearly the time has come to claw back their outsized wealth, power and consumption through wealth taxes or bans on carbon-hungry luxury goods like private jets and mega yachts.

“The UK government needs to ensure that the goal to double adaptation finance agreed at COP26 is realized so that vulnerable countries can adapt to the changes they are facing. Recognition that developing countries also need support to cope with ‘loss and damage’ due to the impacts of climate change that have already happened or they cannot adapt to is a key legacy of the Glasgow summit. The UK should champion ambitious finance for loss and damage ahead of COP27.

“The IPCC report clearly shows how climate change is already claiming lives, making people poorer and reversing development gains. Every fraction of a degree of heating matters and brings extra risks to lives and livelihoods. There are three parts to the solution: we have to make every effort to limit heating to 1.5 degrees, massively increase adaptation efforts, and urgently get finance to those recovering from climate impacts. The UK should lead on each of these, as all are needed and complement one another.”


For more information contact: media.unit@oxfam.org.uk / +44 7748 761 999

Notes to editors

Only a quarter of all climate finance to vulnerable countries is for adaptation.

The recent agreement at COP26 to double adaptation finance to $40 billion by 2025 will help, but it’s nowhere near enough. The UN estimates that developing countries need $70 billion every year to adapt, and those costs are not falling

Photos of Somalia’s Jubaland drought are available for download.

Since COP26, the world’s richest 1 percent (79 million people) have emitted an estimated 1.7 billion tons in carbon emissions. This is more than the continent of Africa emits in an entire year, home to almost 1.4 billion people. According to the Global Carbon Project, Africa’s consumption emissions for 2019 (latest year available) were 1.03 billion tons (1.03 billion tons divided by 365 x 107 = 294 million tons emitted by Africa in 107 days). Calculations were made using Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Confronting Carbon Inequality report.

Recent data from Oxfam shows that the wealthiest 1 percent of humanity are responsible for twice as many emissions as the poorest 50 percent, and that by 2030, their carbon footprints are in fact set to be 30 times greater than the level compatible with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

According to Boat International, the superyacht industry has largely shrugged off the COVID-19 pandemic to record a third year of consistent order book growth. The 2022 Global Order Book records 1,024 projects in build or on order, a rise of 24.7 percent on last year’s 821.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation 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 the money to be spent on adaptation, only about a quarter of total climate finance goes to adaptation.

The UN Environment Program (UNEP) estimates that annual adaptation costs in developing countries are expected to reach $140 to $300 billion in 2030 and $280 to $500 billion in 2050.

The UNFCCC estimates Somalia could need $48.5 billion to adapt to climate change between now and 2030. Somalia’s GDP is less than $5 billion.

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