Countries adapting too slowly to climate breakdown, UN warns

(The Guardian, 14 Jan 2021) Report says not enough funding is being made available to deal with effects of extreme weather.

Millions of people around the world are facing disaster from flood, droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather, as governments fail to take the measures needed to adapt to the impacts of climate breakdown, the UN has warned.

Nearly three-quarters of countries around the world have recognised the need to plan for the effects of global heating, but few of those plans are adequate to the rising threat, and little funding has been made available to put them into force, according to the UN environment programme’s Adaptation report 2020, published on Thursday.

Last year was the joint hottest on record, with a heatwave in Siberia, wildfires in Australia and the US, a destructive Atlantic hurricane season and storms and floods in many parts of Asia.

But spending on measures to adapt to extreme weather has failed to keep pace with the rising need, according to UNEP. Only about $30bn (£22bn) is provided each year in development aid, to help poor countries cope with the effects of the climate crisis, which is less than half of the $70bn currently estimated to be needed. Those costs are set to increase further, to between $140bn and $300bn by the end of the decade.

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The Guardian, 14 Jan 2021: Countries adapting too slowly to climate breakdown, UN warns