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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Can Paris climate deal end funding drought to help the poor cope?

By Megan Rowling, BRACED
BARCELONA - African governments will push hard at U.N. climate talks over the next two weeks to right what they see as a global wrong that is now becoming starker: a drought of financial support to help the people who are bearing the brunt of a warming planet.
As negotiations on a new deal to tackle climate change start in Paris on Sunday, millions of Africans are going hungry due to the combined impacts of a strong El Nino weather pattern and longer-term climate shifts, with drought and floods affecting Ethiopia, Somalia and Zimbabwe, to name but a few places.
In West Africa, creeping deserts and rising seas are increasingly driving people from their homes to migrate to other parts of the politically volatile region - and in some cases north towards Europe.
Yet money to help vulnerable people cope with climate pressures has not been forthcoming from international donors in anything like the amounts experts say are needed.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said this week that African governments would come to Paris "thinking about the very clear justice issues that are very much present around climate change".
A man salvages furniture from a flooded home.REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin
"Any African leader will tell you that they've had very little role in putting the carbon in the air that's currently (there) but that they suffer most from the impacts of climate change: extreme weather events, the loss of arable land," he told journalists.
A recent report from the bank found that, without development that helps countries prepare for climate change, 43 million more people in sub-Saharan Africa - mostly in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Angola and Uganda - could fall into extreme poverty by 2030 due to lower crop yields, higher food prices and adverse health effects linked to climate change.
Despite these risks, funding for adaptation measures - including protecting infrastructure, growing hardier crops, building storm shelters, resettling at-risk families and issuing weather warnings - accounts for less than a fifth of total international funding for climate action.
The rest is spent on curbing greenhouse gas emissions by boosting renewable energy use and energy efficiency.
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