World must adapt to ‘in­evitable’ cli­mate change

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

PARIS: Na­tions rich and poor must in­vest now to pro­tect against the ef­fects of cli­mate change or pay an even heav­ier price later, a global com­mis­sion warned on Tues­day.

Spend­ing $1.8 tril­lion across five key ar­eas over the next decade would not only help buf­fer the worst im­pacts of global warm­ing but could gen­er­ate more than $7 tril­lion in net ben­e­fits, the re­port from the Global Com­mis­sion on Adap­ta­tion ar­gued.

“We are the last gen­er­a­tion that can change the course of cli­mate change, and we are the first gen­er­a­tion that then has to live with the con­se­quences,” former UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who chairs the com­mis­sion, said at the re­port’s launch in Bei­jing.

“De­lay and pay, or plan and pros­per,” he said, shar­ing a catch­phrase from the com­mis­sion, which is cochaired by Mi­crosoft founder Bill Gates and World Bank CEO Kristalina Ge­orgieva. In­vest­ing now in early warn­ing sys­tems, cli­mate-re­sis­tant in­fra­struc­ture, man­grove pro­tec­tion, bet­ter agri­cul­ture and im­prov­ing fresh wa­ter re­sources would pay for it­self sev­eral times over, the re­port said.

Man­groves — trop­i­cal tidal wa­ter forests — pro­tect, for ex­am­ple, against storm surges and act as nurs­eries for com­mer­cial fish­eries, but at least a third of them glob­ally have been up­rooted for tourism or aqua­cul­ture.

“Global ac­tions to slow cli­mate change are promis­ing but in­suf­fi­cient,” the re­port stated. “We must in­vest in a mas­sive ef­fort to adapt to con­di­tions that are now in­evitable.” With­out ac­tion by 2030, cli­mate change could push more than 100 mil­lion peo­ple in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries be­low the poverty line, said the re­port.

At the launch, Chi­nese En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Li Gan­jie — whose coun­try is the world’s top car­bon pol­luter — called adap­ta­tion prac­tices “an in­her­ent re­quire­ment of China’s sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment”.

In the 25-year his­tory of UN cli­mate ne­go­ti­a­tions, adap­ta­tion has trailed far down the agenda com­pared with “mit­i­ga­tion”, or the re­duc­tion of car­bon emis­sions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.