Over three billion people are highly vulnerable to the effects of global warming, according to a report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report stressed that efforts to combat rising global temperatures will depend on funding by high-income countries.
It forecasted that between 3.3-3.6 billion people are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and reiterated that wealthier countries should do more to fight rising global temperatures, according to the working group of the IPCC.
Last year saw a host of governments unveil targets for achieving net zero emissions. In the run-up to the COP26 conference in Glasgow, key players set targets for achieving net zero. But with the UN estimating that emissions in 2030 need to be as much as 55 percent lower than they were in 2017 to stave off climate disasters, critics say that wealthy nations need to act faster.
The COP26 conference garnered mixed assessments from activists and critics. Although the nations present were able to agree on targets, they couldn’t articulate a concrete plan for their implementation. In particular, the wealthiest nations were criticised for failing to step up to the mark and invest heavily in the green transition.
In 2009, a group of wealthy nations pledged to provide $100 billion per year to help those in poorer countries avoid the worst impacts of climate change, such as flooding and drought. That target has still not been met, and it was pushed back until 2023 by negotiators at COP26.
One of the biggest impacts of global warming is hunger, which is accelerated globally by extreme weather. The report released by the IPCC estimated that an additional 78 million will be hungry by 2030 as a result of climate change.
The report stressed that the worst affected nations can still overcome some of the impacts of climate change. By teaching communities how to tend hardier crops and setting up alternative methods of irrigation, even traditionally inhospitable land can be farmed.
Similarly, communities can mitigate some of the damage of floods by raising infrastructure and homes above the level of floods and planting trees to protect against soil erosion.
The UN’s Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperatures to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels, but experts warn that this goal can only be achieved if carbon emissions are reduced dramatically before 2030.