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Invest more money to limit the consequences of climate change and obtain benefits not only environmental but also economic through innovation. This is the proposal launched on Tuesday by a hundred experts who are part of the World Commission on Climate Change Adaptation and which are detailed in an international report in which politicians are urged to take action .
According to their estimates, allocating 1.63 billion euros globally between 2020 and 2030 to adapt to the consequences of climate change could generate 6.9 billion euros in net profits, that is, four times more of the money invested.
Specifically, experts mention five areas in which they consider investment a priority: early warning systems, infrastructure resistant to climate change, improving agricultural productivity in low-water scenarios, the protection of mangroves and investments to ensure water resources.
Effects already visible
The World Commission on Climate Change Adaptation, led by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, businessman Bill Gates and economist Kristalina Georgieva, urges politicians to increase world leadership to accelerate adaptation to climate change whose effects, they say, are already palpable in many parts of the world. We are facing a crisis, the report says, and although "global actions to slow climate change are promising, they are insufficient ."
His proposal comes a few days before New York hosts the UN Climate Action Summit, in which countries must get to work to realize the commitments made in the Paris Agreement, and in the midst of the fire crisis in the Amazon and by the destructive hurricane Dorian, which as it passes through the Bahamas has claimed the lives of at least 45 people.
The experts who sign this work argue that the next 15 months will be critical to mobilize actions against climate change and ask countries to increase their level of ambition ahead of the New York summit on September 23 and the Climate Summit (COP25) to be held in Chile in December.
The report highlights how very destructive hurricanes, floods and forest fires are rapidly becoming an urgent issue. " Climate change affects people around the world . Moreover, if no action is taken, more than 100 million people in developing countries will be forced into poverty by 2050, which will lead to" a increased conflict and instability . "
Citizens will also have less food and water available to meet their basic needs. Without adaptation, the report says, climate change could reduce agricultural production by up to 30%. The main affected would be the 500 million small farmers worldwide, who would therefore see their income reduced. It would also increase the number of people who do not get enough water, at least for one month a year (it would go from 3,600 million citizens currently suffering from this situation, to 5,000 million in 2050).
'A human imperative'
Therefore, the authors of the study, presented by Ban Ki Moon and by the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres, consider that accelerating adaptation is a human, environmental and economic "imperative" .
"Climate change does not respect borders. It is an international problem that can only be solved through cooperation and collaboration," Ban Ki Moon said in a press release. According to the former head of the UN, "it is increasingly clear that in many parts of the world the climate has already changed and we need to adapt to those changes." It is not just the right thing and what needs to be done; "It is also the smartest thing to boost the world economy," he added.
The report also cites some examples of successful measures implemented in various countries to deal with climate change, from corn crops that need little water and that have significantly increased production in Zimbabwe, infrastructure in London or in localities of Denmark to avoid flooding. And it is that the report emphasizes that it does not start from scratch , since the efforts have already begun. What is needed is that they be done on a larger scale, with greater urgency and that there be more innovation.
As the authors point out, the good news is that "adaptation, if done well, will lead to greater growth and development. It will also save lives, protect nature, reduce inequalities and create opportunities."
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