Kristalina Georgieva Called for Faster Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Adapting to the rapidly deteriorating effects of climate change will require not only more funds for infrastructure, crops and other systems, but also much faster reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, said the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva in an interview with the Foundation, Thomson Reuters at the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Increasing land losses and incomes will increase migration, she warned, adding that people will try to reach places where they will have more security. "Climate refugees are already part of the flow of people leaving Africa and the numbers are growing," Kristalina Georgieva warned.
So far, however, global promises to reduce emissions represent between 1/3 and 2/3 of what is needed to stay below the two-degree Celsius warming target, which is the less ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, said Georgieva. This leads to rapidly rising costs of adaptation to extreme weather events and higher levels of the world's oceans, with the UN Environment Program estimating that by 2030 developing countries will need between $ 140 billion and $ 300 billion a year to deal with the consequences. At least $ 30 billion to $ 50 billion of that amount is needed in sub-Saharan Africa alone, according to IMF estimates.
Rising ocean levels and floods already cost West Africa 3.8 billion euros a year, and the continent's total costs are in the range of $ 7-8 billion a year, said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina. This includes $ 2 billion in damage to South Africa from cyclones in recent years, as well as the loss of millions of hectares of locust crops and other effects of floods in East Africa. At the same time, more and more of the Sahel is becoming a desert, he said.
The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Chisekedi, who is the current President of the African Union, said that the fight against climate change could not be won without success in Africa. The British government has announced that it will provide climate finance to unlock $ 1.2 billion for adaptation in Africa.
The change in the exchange rate will require global financial changes to stimulate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, said Kristalina Georgieva. According to her, large private investments are needed in support of clean energy, strengthening climate resilience and other necessary changes. Climate-related investments rose 50 percent globally last year, but still account for only a quarter of one percent of total $ 49 trillion investment funds, Georgieva said.
Adopting better standards in declaring risks to financial stability related to the climate will be key, Kristalina Georgieva said, adding that the IMF is working on the issue with other institutions, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. She called on all countries to act as quickly as possible to tackle climate threats and step up efforts to reduce emissions.
"Rich countries need to do more, emerging markets need to do more, and poor countries need to be helped to do more. If we don't take responsibility for our own destiny in this decade, it doesn't matter how good our plans are for 2050 because they will not take place ", warned the managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
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