Poor “need billions in climate funds”

A new report submitted to the United Nations says poor countries already suffering from the impact of climate change urgently need up to US$2 billion to help adjust and cope, Reuters reported. The funds are needed to help the most vulnerable countries, mostly African and small island states, according to the Stockholm-based Commission on Climate Change and Development (CCCD).

At a meeting on the report, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said effects such as droughts, floods, storms, forest fires and melting glaciers hit the poor most. Simple community-based measures — such as early-warning systems, disaster planning and improved management of crops and land – can save lives, he said. 

“Billions of people are at risk,” Ban said. “That is why adaptation is a key element in the negotiations for a new climate deal.” 

The CCCD report calls for donors to immediately mobilise US$1 billion to US$2 billion, saying countries need to receive and distribute funds from multiple sources with a minimum of transaction costs. Fighting poverty and climate change are “inseparable”, noted Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s minister for international development cooperation and chair of the CCCD. 

Saying the “clock is ticking” ahead of December’s UN climate conference in Copenhagen, Ban urged UN members to agree a post-2012 deal that reduces greenhouse-gas emissions, promotes green development and helps the most vulnerable countries to adapt to a changing climate. 

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