As climate change hits harder, world must increase efforts to adapt

Image by UNEP

2020 was not only the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also the year of intensifying climate change: high temperatures, floods, droughts, storms, wildfires and even locust plagues. Even more worryingly, the world is heading for at least a 3°C temperature rise this century.

We need strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Paris Agreement goals of holding global warming this century to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C. This would limit the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

Nations must urgently step-up action to adapt to the new climate reality or face serious costs, damages and losses.

Adaptation – reducing countries’ and communities’ vulnerability to climate change by increasing their ability to absorb impacts and remain resilient – is a pillar of the Paris Agreement. The agreement requires all signatories to plan and implement adaptation measures through national adaptation plans, studies, monitoring climate change effects and investment in a green future.

The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 looks at where the world stands in planning, financing and implementing adaptation actions. It finds that while nations have advanced in planning, more financing is needed to scale up adaptation projects so they can help protect against climate impacts such as droughts, floods and sea-level rise. Read more…

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