Responding to the publication of the IPCC’s Working Group II report assessing climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, Oxfam’s Climate Policy Lead Nafkote Dabi said:
“This catalogue of pain, loss and suffering must be a wake-up call to everyone. The poorest who have done the least to contribute to climate change are suffering the most and we have a moral responsibility to help those communities adapt.
“Inequality is at the heart of today’s climate crisis —in the little over 100 days since COP26, the richest 1 percent of the world’s population have emitted much more carbon than the population of Africa does in an entire year. The super-rich are racing through the planet’s small remaining carbon budget for limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Clearly the time has come to claw back their outsized wealth, power and consumption through wealth taxes or bans on carbon-hungry luxury goods like private jets and mega yachts.
“People living in the most affected countries do not need this report to tell them that the climate has changed. The highest price is already being paid by the cattle farmer in Somalia whose entire herd has died from thirst. By the mother sheltering in a school gym in the Philippines because her home was swept away just before Christmas.
“Regardless of how quickly governments and corporations cut carbon emissions, some warming is already baked-in from our past behaviour. It’s short sighted —and too late— to focus almost exclusively on mitigation. Billions of people need early warning systems, access to renewable energy and improved crop production now, not after we bring emissions under control.
“Only a fourth of all climate finance to vulnerable countries is for adaptation. The recent agreement at COP26 to double adaptation finance to US$40 billion by 2025 will help, but it’s nowhere near enough. The UN estimates that developing countries need US$70 billion every year to adapt, and those costs are not falling. Rich countries are overwhelmingly responsible for the climate crisis and must do more to support the poorest communities whose citizens struggle to meet their daily needs let alone prepare for the future.
“The other clear message from this report is that we are all in the driving seat. Our foot is on the accelerator and every squeeze produces more harmful gases and higher temperatures. Every ton of carbon we avoid increases the chances of a liveable planet —there is a huge difference between 1.5°C and 1.6°C of heating.
“We must adapt, and we must ensure the planet remains adaptable. Because runaway global heating will only lead to events that we cannot build back from —deaths, submerged homes, unfarmable wastelands, and mass migrations of desperate people.”
Since COP26, the world’s richest 1 percent (79 million people) have emitted an estimated 1.7 billion tons in carbon emissions. This is more than the continent of Africa emits in an entire year, home to almost 1.4 billion people. According to the Global Carbon Project, Africa’s consumption emissions for 2019 (latest year available) were 1.03 billion tons (1.03 billion tons divided by 365 x 107 = 294 million tons emitted by Africa in 107 days). Calculations were made using Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Confronting Carbon Inequality report.
Recent data from Oxfam shows that the wealthiest 1 percent of humanity are responsible for twice as many emissions as the poorest 50 percent, and that by 2030, their carbon footprints are in fact set to be 30 times greater than the level compatible with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.
According to Boat International, the superyacht industry has largely shrugged off the COVID-19 pandemic to record a third year of consistent order book growth. The 2022 Global Order Book records 1,024 projects in build or on order, a rise of 24.7 percent on last year’s 821.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), developed countries provided only around US$80 billion in climate finance in 2019. While the UN Secretary-General, Oxfam and others have called for half the money to be spent on adaptation, only about a quarter of total climate finance goes to adaptation.
The UN Environment Program (UNEP) estimates that annual adaptation costs in developing countries are expected to reach US$140 to US$300 billion in 2030 and US$280 to US$500 billion in 2050.