IFRC Vague Promises

IFRC Warns the World Cannot Afford Another Set of Vague Promises at COP27

At the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), to be held from 6 to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which established a partnership with the United Nations ESCAP to strengthen climate change resilience, will call on world leaders to cut greenhouse gas emissions and drastically scale up funding to enable the most vulnerable communities to adapt and cope with the devastating impacts they are already facing.

Sadly, UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) has indicated that current plans are still not enough to avoid catastrophic warming, as only 24 out of 193 countries have submitted their climate plans to the UN ahead of the COP27 Conference. Furthermore, a report from Bloomberg outlines that "Coal was meant to be history. Instead, its use is soaring."

  • Global coal power generation may set a record for a second-straight year and remains the world's biggest source of electricity, despite contributing most to planet-warming emissions.
  • Consumption has surged in Europe to replace shortfalls in hydro, nuclear, and Russian gas, while China is extracting record volumes from mines to insulate itself from volatile global energy markets.
  • That'll complicate a meeting of world leaders for climate talks in Egypt this weekend after last year's promises to "consign coal to history."

National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, which operate in 192 countries, not only respond to disasters when they occur but also play a critical role in preventing hazards such as floods, wildfires, and heatwaves from becoming disasters. Because IFRC has identified the climate crisis as one of the greatest humanitarian threats currently facing communities around the world, it supports member National Societies to reach 250 million people each year by working at the front lines in communities before, during, and after disasters and helps communities prevent, mitigate and adapt to the rising risks of climate change by reducing suffering and vulnerability.  

Love Someday By Selva Ozelli
Love Someday By Selva Ozelli, Exhibiting at COP27 as part of the Global Resilience Partnership

“Our planet is in crisis and climate change is killing the most at-risk. COP27 will fail if world leaders do not support communities who are on the frontlines of climate change. Families who are losing loved ones, homes or livelihoods cannot afford to wait for vague promises or weak commitment

explained Francesco Rocca, IFRC President.

Science is now disturbingly clear on the humanitarian impacts of climate change. IFRC data shows that in the last ten years, 86% of all disasters triggered by natural hazards were caused by weather and climate-related events, killing at least 410,000 people and affecting a further 1.7 billion. The 2022 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also spelled out the dramatic consequences of failing to curb the rising global temperatures, with an estimated 3.3-3.6 billion people living in contexts vulnerable to climate change. 

An IFRC report released a month ahead of the COP 27, Extreme Heat: Preparing for the heatwaves of the future, points out that climate change is making heatwaves ever more dangerous and are causing aggressive wildfires around the globe. For example, since 2021, Turkey has lost 214,000 hectares of forest to wildfires that have devastated the country's precious pine honey production, among other catastrophes. With Red Crescent Turkey assisting 300,000 thousand people during these calamities.

No region in the world is spared from the devastating, unavoidable, and irreversible multiple climate hazards over the next two decades with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F).  

The IMF estimates that the public adaptation costs will reach around 0.25 percent of the global gross domestic product per year, while annual needs will exceed 1 percent of GDP in about 50 low-income and developing economies, with the costs estimated to be up to 20 percent of GDP for small, island nations exposed to tropical cyclones, hurricanes, tsunamis, and rising seas during the next ten years.

Low-income developing countries are disproportionately affected by climate change- from economic to public health because they lack critical financing and the institutional capacity to implement needed mitigation and adaptation programs while facing other pressing development needs. According to research by the IFRC, none of the globe's 30 most vulnerable countries are among the 30 highest recipients of adaptation funding per capita.   

“To save lives now and in the future, we need political action and concrete changes that prioritize the communities most at risk and help them become more resilient. The climate crisis is here now, and we need to protect those worst affected” 

Francesco added.

The IMF has laid out well-crafted policies which can produce large returns, in three papers covering climate adaptation and fiscal policy, macro-fiscal implications, and bringing climate adaptation into the mainstream of fiscal planning. 

The IMF has laid out well-crafted policies which can produce large returns in three papers covering climate adaptation and fiscal policy, macro-fiscal implications, and bringing climate adaptation into the mainstream of fiscal planning. 

Furthermore, Asia and the Pacific's climate bank, Asian Development Bank, has raised its ambition for climate change financing for 2019-2030 from $80 billion to $100 billion, of which $34 billion is marked for adaptation which is at the top of the agenda for COP27 and an ever-increasing priority for ADB. 

ADB is expected to launch several flagship initiatives at COP27, including the Asia Pacific Water Resilience Initiative, which will promote resilient water management in the region, and the Blue Pacific Finance Hub, which aims to restore ocean health, build coastal resilience, and develop sustainable blue economies. The Just Transition Support Platform to help strengthen ADB's work in the just green transition space. As well as piloting an Innovative Finance Facility for Climate in Asia and Pacific (IF-CAP), which will use guarantees and grant contributions from donor countries and philanthropies to leverage $4 for every $1. 

“Increasing adaptation funding is critical to help countries address climate change’s impacts and prepare for the future, but the new IFRC analysis demonstrates that the funding isn’t getting to places and communities who need it most. Climate adaptation funding per person averages less than 1 CHF per person in countries where vulnerability is highest

pointed out Caroline Holt, Director of Disaster, Climate, and Crises at the IFRC.

Love Someday by Selva Ozelli
Love Someday by Selva Ozelli

To raise awareness of the impact of climate change on our land and our oceans, a member of Red Crescent Sisli, Istanbul Women's Arm artist Selva Ozelli is exhibiting her "Love Someday" and "Reef Dwellers" series of art shows as part of the Global Resilience Partnership at COP27. IFRC is one of 64 partners of the Global Resilience Partnership.

The "Love Someday" series of art shows are inspired by the ancient Egyptians who cultivated various roses which came to symbolize love. The enchanting purple, pink, yellow, and white roses in the "Love Someday" series is a reminder to avert, minimize, and address biodiversity loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of climate change.

The "Reef Dweller" series of art shows celebrate the role of the oceans in our everyday life and inspire action to protect reefs which occupy only 0.1 percent of the global sea surfaces. But more than 25 percent of marine biodiversity is supported by them. Reef Dwellers 1 was endorsed by United Nations Oceans Decade, and Reef Dwellers 2 features Picasso triggerfish, which are common to the Red Sea, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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Selva Ozelli Esq, CPA is a legal and finance executive with diversified experience dealing with highly complex issues in the field of international taxation and related matters within the banking, securities, Fintech, alternative and traditional investment funds. Her first of its kind legal analyses involving tax laws, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), blockchain technology, solar technology and the environment and have been published in journals, books and by the OECD. Her writings have been translated into 15 languages.

Selva Ozelli
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