Nigeria, Argentina, South Africa and other developing countries may suffer economic losses of up to $1.7 trillion per year by 2050 due to global warming, Oxfam has warned in its latest report.
The report noted that with warming of three degrees, developing countries would need to spend an additional $270 billion yearly by 2050 on measures to adjust to more extreme weather and rising seas, taking their annual adaptation costs to $790 billion.
Without money, Oxfam explained that the economic damage would be $600 billion more each year by mid-century than under a two-degree temperature rise, leaving them to face annual losses of $1.7 trillion. Oxfam urged countries to agree in Paris to raise their emissions reduction ambitions every five years, starting in 2020 when a new deal would take effect.
The report said: “Developing countries should get support to do this and rich nations must take on their fair share of the burden because they have emitted much of the carbon pollution to date.”
It added that a new deal should enshrine a long-term goal where wealthy states lead the way in phasing out fossil fuels. The international development agency expressed the hope that talks involving 195 countries in Paris from November 30 to December 11 are likely to reach an agreement to tackle cli-mate change, amid impressive growth in renewable energy and strengthened political will.
“But Paris is not being hailed as the silver bullet that will save the climate,” Oxfam warned. An Oxfam Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima, said: “We are seeing growing momentum for a climate deal, but what is on the table so far is not enough.
“We need further cuts to emissions and more climate funding so that vulnerable communities – who are already facing unpredictable floods, droughts and hunger – can adapt to survive.”
Oxfam stressed that national plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, put forward this year by over 170 countries as the basis for a new deal, would result in global temperature rise of three degrees Celsius or more above pre-industrial times.
Even if the world does succeed in keeping warming below 2 degrees or preferably 1.5 degrees, as over 100 countries want – poor nations still need much more financial help to protect themselves from worsening climate stresses, the report said. Also, Oxfam’s Head of Climate Change and Food Policy, Tim Gore added: “Adaptation costs are scarily high and are going to be high even with a ‘2 degree’ deal, and that’s why we’ve got to have a massive increase in adaptation finance.
“At the moment, it’s only a very paltry sum that is actually flowing,” he said. According to the report, dividing up today’s government funding for adaptation among the 1.5 billion small-scale farmers in the developing world would give them the equivalent of just $3 a year each to guard against floods, severe droughts and other climate extremes.
Oxfam estimated that public grants and cheap loans to fund climate action amounted to around $20 billion on average in both 2013 and 2014. But only $3 billion to $5 billion of that annual finance was dedicated to adaptation. The shortage should be addressed at the Paris climate conference, Oxfam said.