Developing nations will need $50 billion (Rs2 trillion) a year to adapt to climate change, and rich countries should foot the bill, British aid agency Oxfam GB said.
Global warming as a result of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide will exacerbate droughts and raise sea levels, disproportionately affecting the poor, the United Nations has detailed in a series of reports on climate change this year.
That gives rich nations a “clear obligation” to help developing countries adapt to the climate-induced changes, Oxfam said on Tuesday.
“There is a deep injustice in the impacts of climate change,” Oxfam said in a 46-page report. “Rich countries have caused the problem with many decades of greenhouse gas emissions, and in the process have grown richer. But poor countries will be worst affected, facing greater droughts, floods, hunger and disease.”
Oxfam’s $50 billion a year estimate is based on extrapolating costs of existing and proposed programmes across a wider population. The agency weighed historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions and the relative development levels of different nations, concluding that 28 countries should pay the costs.
The US bears the greatest responsibility and should pay 43.7% of the costs, with the European Union (EU) footing 31.6% of the bill, the agency said, noting that only 17 of the EU’s 27 members met its criteria for those who should pay. Japan must bear 12.9% of the costs, Canada 4.3%, Australia 2.9% and South Korea 2.4%, Oxfam said.
Adaptation measures include flood-proofing roads, developing irrigation systems and raising foundations of ho-mes, according to the report.
“Tackling climate change calls for an unprecedented level of international commitment and cooperation,” Oxfam said.
“Delay in adequate financing means a delay in learning what works, and risks losing the valuable window of opportunity that the world has to make a success of adaptation before the full impacts of climate change hit,” the agency said.