Adaptation target not keeping pace with growing risks: UNEP Report

Source: The post is based on the article “Adaptation target not keeping pace with growing risks: UNEP Report” published in Business Standard on 4th November 2022.

What is the News?

The United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) has released the Adaptation Gap Report 2022 titled “Too Little, Too Slow: Climate adaptation failure puts world at risk”.

Note: Adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts.

What are the key findings of the report?

Climate impacts are increasing across the globe. A multi-year drought in the Horn of Africa, unprecedented flooding in South Asia and severe summer heat and record-breaking droughts across multiple regions of the Northern Hemisphere among others point to mounting and ever-increasing climate risks. 

Ambitious, accelerated action to adapt to climate change is therefore paramount together with strong mitigation efforts. 

Global efforts in adaptation planning, financing and implementation continue to make incremental progress but fail to keep pace with increasing climate risks. 

For instance, a third of the 197 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have incorporated quantified and time-bound targets for adaptation. And 90% of them have considered gender and disadvantaged groups. 

But on the other hand, international adaptation finance flows are 5-10 times lower than required and this gap continues to grow. Finance for adaptation increased to $29 billion in 2020 — only 4% increase over 2019.

This is when developing countries’ estimated annual adaptation needs are $160-$340 billion by 2030 and $315-$565 billion by 2050.

What are the recommendations given by the report?

The adaptation gap must be addressed in four critical ways:

The first is to increase financing for adaptation.

Second, the world urgently needs a new business model for turning adaptation priorities into investable projects.

The third is the availability of climate risk data and information — an issue for adaptation planning in many developing countries.

The fourth priority is the implementation and operationalisation of early warning systems against extreme weather events and slow onset changes such as sea level rise.

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