G-20 News

As the world focuses on Ukraine, there are fears that some G20 countries’ promises to take action to stem climate change will not be fulfilled | Climate News

The IPCC report is a sobering read.

A UN report says climate change is taking lives and livelihoods and the conduct of disease and crop failure – but there is still a window for action.

COP26 Deputy President Alok Sharma called it a “grim” and “incredibly harsh” warning.

“I would say this is another code red for humanity,” he told Sky News.

“And what this report tells us is that the impact on lives, livelihoods and nature is far, far worse than we originally anticipated.”

It’s hard to know how much more urgent the warnings could be.

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Vanessa Nakate shares that although the African continent produces only 3% of global emissions, it is hard hit by the consequences of climate change.

But this report will not attract as much attention as its authors might normally expect.

The world is firmly focused on Ukraine.

This is an example of something that keeps climatologists awake at night: the prospect of continuing crisis after continuing crisis, of pandemics to conflict, diverting attention and effort from a problem that is already an existential threat.

Diplomats and policy experts at the UN climate change conference COP26 often remarked on how much can be achieved when the world focuses on a single issue, and how quickly progress stalls when nations start looking elsewhere.

And it is feared that some of the G20 nations will not keep their climate promises because they will be preoccupied with other issues.

The other issue simmering beneath the work of the IPCC, as it so often does, is money.

The report makes it clear that rich countries in particular need to find the money to simultaneously protect people and places from the impacts of climate crisiswhile investing in finding a way to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

And the longer we wait to invest in either of these things (called adaptation and mitigation), the more expensive it will be.

The growing dispute over the cost of paying net zero in this country alone tells you how difficult it will be to open these wallets across the planet.