The world will have to react with the same urgency to climate change as to the coronavirus crisis, the Red Cross said Tuesday, warning that global warming poses a greater threat than Covid-19.
Even as the pandemic rages, climate change isn’t taking a break from wreaking havoc, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies (IFRC) said in a new outline.
In the outline, on global catastrophes since the 1960s, the Geneva-based organisation pointed out that the world had been hit by more than 100 disasters — many of them climate related — since the World Health Association declared the pandemic in March. More than 50 million people had been affected, it said.
“Of class lesson, the Covid is there, it’s in front of us, it is affecting our families, our friends, our relatives,” IFRC Secretary-General Jagan Chapagain told a virtual press convention.
“It’s a very, very serious crisis the world is facing currently,” he said of the pandemic, which has already claimed more than 1.3 million lives. But he warned that the IFRC expects “climate change will have a more remarkable medium and long term have an effect on on the human life and on Soil.”
And while it looked increasingly more likely that one or several vaccines would soon develop into to be had against Covid-19, Chapagain stressed that “unfortunately there’s no vaccine for climate change”.
‘No vaccine for climate change’
In terms of global warming, he warned, “it’ll require a a lot more sustained action and investment to in reality give protection to the human life on this Soil.”
The frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate-related events had already increased substantially in recent decades, said the IFRC. In 2019 alone, the world was once hit by 308 natural disasters — 77 percent of them climate or weather-related — killing some 24,400 people. The number of climate and weather-related disasters has been regularly climbing since the 1960s, and has surged by almost 35 percent since the 1990s, IFRC said.
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This can be a lethal development. Weather and climate-related disasters have killed more than 410,000 people during the last decade, most of them in poorer countries, with heatwaves and storms proving the most lethal, the outline said. Faced with this threat, which “literally threatens our long-term survival”, IFRC called on the international community to act with the urgency required.
Give protection to most vulnerable communities’
It estimated that around $50 billion would be needed every year over the next decade to help the 50 developing countries to adapt to the changing climate. IFRC stressed that that amount was once “dwarfed by the global response to the economic have an effect on of Covid-19,” which has already passed $10 trillion. It also lamented that much of the money invested so far in climate change prevention and mitigation was once not going to the developing countries most at risk.
“Our first responsibility is to give protection to communities that are most exposed and vulnerable to climate risks,” Chapagain said, warning though that “our research demonstrates that the world is collectively failing to do that.”
“There’s a lucid disconnection between where the climate risk is greatest and where climate adaptation underwriting goes,” he said.
“This disconnection could very polite cost lives.”