The U.N. says climate impacts are getting worse faster than the world is adapting

According to the U.N., climate impacts are worse than the world adapts.
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The uncomfortable truth is that world leaders are meeting in Glasgow to discuss ways to reduce planet-warming emissions. They have gathered on a shrinking, rising island in a rising ocean where temperatures are already higher and storms more severe.

According to a new UN report, some of the impacts from climate change have already been irreversible. Our efforts to adapt to them are slowing down.

There is a growing gap between the money available and what is needed to protect communities against rising seas, higher temperatures, and worsening storms.

Inger Andersen is the executive director of United Nations Environment Programme.

The report, appropriately titled "The Gathering Storm: Adapting climate change in a post pandemic world", urges world leaders and decision-makers to make their communities more resilient to the new reality. It warns them that they are missing an opportunity.

Globally, more than $16 trillion has been spent to boost economies during the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, only a small fraction of this money has been directed at climate adaptation efforts. The pandemic has also reduced government revenues and disrupted supply chain, which have hampered adaptation projects in particular developing countries.

The report states that climate change and pandemics share striking similarities. "Like the pandemics, the climate crisis is a systemic issue that requires coordinated global and national responses." "Many of these lessons from the pandemic can be used as models for how to improve climate adaptation financing.

The hardest hit countries are the developing nations

The poorest countries contribute the most to the planet's warming, and are therefore often the hardest hit.

The Lancet, a medical journal, recently reported that climate change is affecting human health in almost every way measurable.

According to the World Health Organization, climate change will cause approximately 250,000 more deaths annually from malnutrition and diarrhea.

It says that countries in developing countries with poor health systems will struggle to cope. They won't be the only ones.

This year, hundreds died in a heatwave that ravaged the Pacific Northwest and Canada. In Western Europe, thousands died from heatwaves.

Wildfires fueled by climate change ravaged entire cities in Canada and the Mediterranean. Flooding in Europe, India, and China caused billions of dollars of damage.

This year, the U.S. was hit by 18 climate-related natural catastrophes that cost more than $1 billion. It had 22 last year.

The UN report states in its foreword that "2021 was a year in which climate effects hit developed and developing country with a new fury." "So, while we are looking to intensify efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions efforts that have not been strong enough, we must drastically up our game to adapt.

There are many reasons to be optimistic

According to the UN report, a growing number of countries are preparing policies, laws, or plans to adapt to a warmer world. Over three quarters of all countries in the world have at least one policy that will make their communities safer. Additionally, more projects are drawing substantial investments.

The world's richest countries have still not fulfilled their promise to provide $100 billion per year to developing countries to address the impacts of climate change. They have contributed approximately 80 percent to the planet's greenhouse gas emissions. This money was supposed to have been available last year.

John Kerry, the U.S. climate ambassador, stated earlier this week that the money would be available by 2023. However, there are still doubts and the need may be much greater. According to the U.N., adaptation costs will likely be five to ten-fold higher than current international financial flows.

A.R. says that even in wealthy countries such as the U.S., there is not enough adaptation financing. Siders is a University of Delaware climate adaptation expert.

She says, "We are not taking enough action at all levels of government: at the national, state and global level." "When we deal with the consequences of climate change, we do so in a disaster response manner, which is, 'Hey! That disaster happened. Let's get everyone back to pre-disaster levels.

She says that normal doesn't work in a rapidly changing climate.