Financing preparedness for climate disasters

High risk ecosystems include the coral reefs in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, Red Sea. Photo courtesy Renata Romeo  -
High risk ecosystems include the coral reefs in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, Red Sea. Photo courtesy Renata Romeo -

While this year’s global climate summit continued to discuss the finances required to support mitigation and adaptation, there is now a growing need to assist those regions that have suffered loss and damage.

Dr Anjani Ganase summarises the urgent need for dedicated financial flows.

COP 27, the global climate summit – Conference of Parties – brought together representatives of all countries in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt from November 6-20. This follows last year’s meeting, COP 26, in Glasgow. The Glasgow Climate Pact – to stay below 1.5 C global temperature rise – precipitated a two-year plan to accelerate endeavours toward net zero through the themes of mitigation, adaptation, finance and collaboration.

A year after this pact, here are some highlights of the Sharm-El Sheikh Implementation Plan.

The latest science

The IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) sixth assessment report, released at the beginning of 2022, describes a code red for climate emergency and the need for drastic reductions in carbon emissions.

While the global limit of 1.5 C increase acknowledges severe losses in biodiversity and impacts to small island developing states, it will be less catastrophic than a two-degree rise.

Furthermore, the special reports on cryosphere (the part of earth made up of frozen water) and the ocean reveal devastating consequences for global temperature rise above 1.5 C. More specifically, the melting of the permafrost (frozen ground) that stores twice as much organic carbon than is present in the atmosphere is at risk of significantly increasing greenhouse gas (namely methane) into the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, almost all tropical coral reefs are projected to suffer significant loss even with global warming limited to 1.5°C.

Therefore, in order to stay under 1.5 C, a decline in greenhouse gases by 43 per cent by 2030 (returning to 2019 level) is required. There is the urgent need for reducing greenhouse gases through immediate and radical transition to renewable energy industries. Such transitions must be just and transparent and should facilitate diverse options for industrial energy.

The next decade is critical for the delivery of this promise.


A recent report by the UN Environmental Programme – the Adaptation Gap Report 2022 – found serious shortcomings in the current levels of adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change.

The rate of adaptation was described as “too little, too slow” and poses a major global risk of climate change impacts. Climate adaptation needs to anticipate and overcome multiple years of drought, severe heatwaves and floods, food and water scarcity, sea-level rise and extreme weather events.

While 84 per cent of the parties have adaptation plans, strategies and policies for climate emergencies, too few have any financing to back up such plans. Adaptation finance fails to keep up with the climate impacts, and these gaps will widen in the coming years.

For most countries, finances available are five-ten times less than what is needed, and gaps will continue to widen as climate change worsens.

The annual global adaptation cost is estimated at US$160-$340 billion needed by 2030.


Financial support underlies all themes and conversations at COP 27.

US$4 trillion annually is required to be invested into renewable energy up to 2030 for successful energy transformation and to achieve net zero by 2050.

Such investments and money redirection also require a transformation of the global financial system to meet such priorities. Meanwhile there is growing concern about the increasing gap between the financial needs of the developed and developing nations where climate impacts are likely to be more severe.

The current need by developing countries is US$5.9 trillion over the next eight years. To date, the mobilisation fund of US$100 billion a year (up to 2020) to be raised by the developed countries for meaningful climate mitigation has yet to be met.

Loss and Damages Fund

A major focal point of COP 27 was the development of a loss and damages fund.

There is concern about the growing scope of loss and damages associated with climate change, along with significant consequences to economies, cultures, and lives, especially among developing nations and small island states.

Most of the countries severely affected by climate change do not significantly contribute to the high global carbon emission. The US has contributed the largest cumulative global carbon emission (over 500 gigatonnes of carbon), followed by China (284 gigatonnes carbon dioxide) and Russia (172.5 gigatonnes of carbon).

Therefore, through COP 27, finances have been dedicated, in the form of the loss and damages fund, to support the most vulnerable to climate change.

Early warning systems

Early warning and systematic observations of climate events is still limited to a third of the world, including 60 per cent of African countries.

Early warning is necessary for preparedness in climate adaptation.

Coming out of COP 27, there is a major push for a universal early warning system against extreme weather events, to be financed through collaboration over the next five years. The UN secretary general announced the dedication of US$3.1 billion to the development of such technology.

Technology and knowledge transfer

All parties are urged to ramp up transformational approaches for adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience, accompanied by scaled-up climate finance to support least developed countries, small island states and developing nations.

Not just finance but technology and the transfer of technological advancements to support capacity are also required.

There is need for focus on ocean and terrestrial ecosystems, agriculture and food security; and the recommendation that ecosystem-based approaches should be used as much as possible.

Finally, all implementation pathways must be just and equitable and activate social dialogue with party and non-party members; all countries and communities must be engaged including indigenous groups, youths and marginalised groups.


"Financing preparedness for climate disasters"

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