Climate crisis: NGOs are no longer able to respond to requests for assistance

MONTREAL – Rich countries must pay more, but big polluters such as fossil fuel companies must also contribute to helping poor countries adapt to climate change, says Oxfam, as humanitarian agencies can no longer respond to requests for help from these countries. .

Climate change is putting pressure on humanitarian agencies, to the point that the United Nations humanitarian funding needs related to extreme weather are eight times higher than they were 20 years ago, according to a new report by Oxfam.

The charity is asking for help because relief agencies can no longer provide for some urgent needs, such as homes, hospitals, shelter, food and emergency rations.

The report, “Time for Reckoning,” was published on the sidelines of the Bonn Conference on Climate Change, which will take place from 6-16 June.

The polluter pays principle

Over the past five years, Oxfam says, the UN’s funding needs for climate-related disaster response have been “only 54% on average, representing an estimated funding gap of between $28 billion and $33 billion”.

As businesses, individuals and wealthier nations contribute more to climate change, Oxfam is calling on all governments to participate in a “financing mechanism to compensate for losses and damages” through “annual contributions based on climate change liability and ability to pay”.

This mechanism could include a “tax on international marine emissions and a tax on fossil fuel extraction”, on the polluter pays principle.

“In recent years, there have been huge profits being made in these industries. We’re not talking about income, we’re really talking about money, which is there, is there, is on the table,” said Virginie Gagnon, chief campaign officer for Oxfam-Quebec. .

Oxfam points out that the climate crisis affects the poorest countries, which, on the contrary, are those that contribute least to emitting greenhouse gases, and that “those that have contributed most to the crisis must pay for the damage caused by the least responsible and hardest hit countries.” climate disasters.

“Current emissions in Africa represent less than 4% of the global total,” asserts the report, which identifies that “between 1990 and 2015, the carbon emissions of the world’s richest 1% accounted for more than twice that of the poorest half of humanity.”

Citing the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Oxfam says droughts, floods, storms, wildfires and other extreme weather events are “pushing millions of people into poverty, hunger and death”.

Beginning of the Bonn Conference

The humanitarian organization is calling on governments to put in place such a mechanism at COP27, which will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt next fall.

The Bonn Conference, which runs until June 16 in Germany, is a meeting designed to prepare for COP 27.

In 2009, most developed countries promised to provide, as of 2020, $100 billion in aid annually to the countries of the South hardest hit by the climate crisis. But this promise, which was the subject of many discussions during COP26, has so far not been fulfilled.

Oxfam believes that “industrial countries have blocked negotiations on financing losses and damages from the climate crisis for years”.

The Oxfam report highlights that Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Haiti, Kenya, Niger, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Chad and Zimbabwe are the countries most appealing for humanitarian aid linked to the climate crisis.

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