African countries

African Countries Climate Adaptation Bill Will Dwarf Health Spending | Climate crisis

African countries least responsible for the climate crisis will have to spend up to five times more to adapt to global warming than they spend on health.

Analysis of 11 nations with a combined population of over 350 million lays bare the enormous financial cost of taking action to avoid the severe environmental consequences of global warming.

The international NGO Tearfund compared the plans drawn up by Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania and the Sudan to their health budgets. Every nation is already feeling the effects of the climate crisis.

Chart showing the costs of adapting to climate change for 11 African countries

Projected climate adaptation costs for Eritrea amount to 22.7% of GDP, compared to 4.46% for health costs. Mauritania will have to spend more than four times more on climate adaptation than on health care 13.4% versus 3.3%.

The analysis shows that the 11 nations are among the least responsible for emitting greenhouse gases that warm the planet. On average, they emit 27 times less per person than the global average.

A measure of global responsibility found that the US has inflicted more than $1.9bn (£1.6bn) in damage to other countries due to the effects of its greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse.

Adapting to climate change involves building higher dykes, capturing rainwater for irrigation, and switching to drought-resistant crops. Sub-Saharan Africa already experiences a third of the world’s droughts and is extremely vulnerable to extreme temperatures and weather, due to its dependence on rain-fed agriculture, according to the International Monetary Fund.

East Africa is currently suffering from its worst drought in a generationwith 20 million people at risk of severe hunger.

Elizabeth Myendo, Tearfund’s disaster manager for Southern and Eastern Africa, said: “The hunger crisis in East Africa has shown the terrible power of the climate emergency. Acute malnutrition and lack of clean water are straining hospitals and clinics.

“Entire communities have been forced from their homes in search of food, making them more vulnerable to disease outbreaks and unable to access local health services… The climate crisis will only get worse and governments will have to find the money somewhere to help people adjust. I fear that crucial services like health care will suffer unless rich countries provide the climate finance they have promised.

Adapting to climate change was a key part of the Paris agreement in 2015. But a pledge made in 2009 by rich countries to provide $100 billion a year from 2020 to 2025 to help low-income countries mitigate the effects has still not been fully met, according to the report.

At the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow last year, countries agreed to launch just a two-year effort to set a “global goal on adaptation”, leaving further details vague.

Wealthy nations have offered new pledges of around $960 million a year, but the pledged amounts are far below the $70 billion a year that developing countries need today. The amount required is expected to reach $300 billion a year by 2030, according to the UN.

Tearfund has called on the UK government, which still holds the Cops presidency, to ensure that the promised $100 billion a year is delivered, with 50% earmarked for adaptation.

The UK government says tackling climate challenges is a top priority and that adaptation funding for many developing countries is insufficient. But recent comments from Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, suggest that the government embezzles money previously intended to help avoid the effects of global warming on defense spending.

The report says: “It is a huge injustice that the impacts and costs of the crisis are being borne by the communities that have the least resources to respond to it – and who have done the least to cause it.

Low-income countries receive only a tenth of what they need to adapt from international climate finance.

In many countries, communities are coming up with innovative solutions to reduce the impact of climate change, but they don’t have the money to generate wider positive consequences.

The report highlights measures taken in southern Ethiopia, where more than 10,000 farmers are practicing conservation agriculture to enable them to farm even during dry seasons, helping them adapt to more frequent droughts and extended.

Climate finance would enable these practices to be scaled up in other areas, increasing resilience to a crisis that causes hunger and malnutrition, as well as loss of livestock and livelihoods, the report says.