Climate change: adapting to the future, not the past
Authors: Anis Chowdhury, adjunct professor at the University of Western Sydney and the University of New South Wales (Australia), had held senior positions at the United Nations in New York and Bangkok; Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former professor of economics, had served as the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development. Advancing the frontier of economic thought and won the Vasily Leontief Prize.Originally published on Jomo Kwame Sundaram’s website
Sydney and Kuala Lumpur: There is a serious shortage of funds for developing countries to deal with global warming.Very little money is used Adapt to climate change, The urgent needs of the most adversely affected countries. In addition, adaptation needs to be forward-looking, not just to solve cumulative problems.
Climate change poses a threat to survival, especially for poor countries that have little ability to adapt. The failure of rich countries to deliver on promised financial support will only make things worse. COVID-19 has been hit once again, and the “Healthy apartheid“.
this COP26 transaction Undoubtedly a “Shameful negligence in history“And” are far from enough to avoid climate disasters.” Glasgow’s failure Shows the lack of actual progress and insufficient policy response. Worse,”Glasgow Suicide Convention“.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2021 Trade and Development Report I lament that rich countries are unwilling to deal with the severe challenges facing developing countries. after all, 2030 Agenda Sustainable development is trouble Even before COVID-19.
The climate policy response involves mitigation and adaptation. Alleviate Try to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) Emissions replace fossil fuels through more efficient energy use and the use of renewable energy. Adaptation includes strengthening resilience and protection to minimize adverse effects on human life.
The international funds received by the country to adapt to demand are far less than the world’s demand for relief. Therefore, poor countries are working alone to solve the global warming problem mainly caused by other countries. Due to the vulnerabilities of different countries, adaptation challenges are also wide-ranging.
Governments have been recommended to reduce vulnerability to shocks by improving data and risk assessment.Most measures to enhance flexible use Traditional financial risk management methodsThese are designed to better protect existing assets and provide temporary financial support in the event of a shock.
Therefore, the problem of climate adaptation is solved through disaster risk assessment, early warning systems, improved ecosystem management and better social safety nets. But this method is difficult to distinguish climate change from other risks.
Relying on past experience, traditional methods are hardly forward-looking in dealing with new challenges. The recommended measures tend to deploy scarce resources to address the past and present impacts of climate change.
Focusing on current vulnerabilities can help adapt to existing climate threats. This may provide some temporary resilience and relief. But it is not prepared for new threats. Therefore, this method ignores future problems and does not provide much protection or reduce vulnerability to new threats.
Relying on pricing and other market technologies for climate adaptation risk assessment also has limitations. This method tends to focus on predictable and incremental content rather than more uncertain and systematic content.
This method is rooted in financial risk management and is conducive to restoring some assumed normal and stable norms. Therefore, it refuses to consider new possibilities, including adopting more dynamic sustainable transformation methods.
In addition, for many communities, returning to “normal” means exploitation and instability. This method is also conducive to protection and response. Usually, these are not enough to meet the complex challenges faced. Worse, they may unintentionally cause maladaptation.
Instead, a transformative approach to climate risk is needed. The only lasting solution may be to create a more resilient economy through far-reaching changes, thereby reducing the dependence of developing countries on climate-sensitive activities (such as cattle breeding).
This requires getting rid of de-risking and adopting a more comprehensive and systematic approach to economic diversification in order to increase flexibility. More diversified economies are more supportive of sustainable development, and are less susceptible or less likely to be disturbed by external shocks.
In recent years, it has become obvious that economies that rely mainly on exports are more vulnerable to economic shocks originating from other places. But the same is true for climate shocks. Therefore, climate adaptation requires a new vision for common goals, not just avoiding risks and worst-case scenarios.
Diversity is essential
Therefore, development is needed to solve the climate adaptation problem in the global south. Moving from de-risking to diversification requires a commitment to “Green Industry Policy – Involving investment and technology – do it.
Diversification involves the cumulative process of two working together. First, shift from primary production to manufacturing and higher-value services. Second, transfer resources from less capital-intensive activities to more capital-intensive activities.
Developing countries must pursue sustainable development and control emissions and resource consumption within ecological limits. This requires economic diversification, increased productivity and improved social conditions.
This new transformation strategy must recognize ecological and climate constraints. Policy makers in developing countries have limited means to deal with such challenges. Because of the unbalanced “neo-liberal” globalization, they are also hindered by institutional weaknesses, for example, even in the mobilization of domestic resources.
The key to multilateralism
Some wealthy countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia, have cut their aid budgets and have not deployed unused funds. Special drawing rights Help developing countries. They have hardly encouraged private creditors to enable developing countries to invest to escape the multiple crises they face.
So far, debt relief measures have been very modest and seriously inadequate,”Kicking canned food on the road“Deferred debt simply means that as compound interest accumulates, borrowing should be paid later. At the same time, the debt burden continues to increase.
The UNCTAD report warns that insignificant climate funding is accelerating global warming and undermining the prospects for world decarbonization.It emphasizes the need to be proactive Multilateralism And support developing countries to deal with the crises caused by climate and epidemics.
“Global challenges obviously require a multilateral response.”But so far, only the International Monetary Fund has provided Some real relief Through the cancellation of 28 countries’ debt service obligations (worth US$727 million) between April 2020 and October 2021.
The end of The first cold war Undermine the need for multilateralism led by the United Nations.If U.S. President Biden really wants to follow President Roosevelt, he can start by restoring the UN-led multilateralism envisaged by the FDR, rather than recklessly pursuing New cold war Favored Neoconservatives In his team.