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Extreme weather since COP28 causes over $41B in global damage

As millions of people in India grapple with blistering heat intensified by climate change, a new report on Monday said extreme weather events have caused over USD 41 billion in damages globally since the international climate talks in Dubai (COP28) in December last year. The report by the UK-based NGO Christian Aid said that four extreme weather events in the past six months -- all scientifically shown to have been made more likely and/or more intense by climate change -- killed over 2,500 people. The non-profit organisation said that insufficient progress has been made since COP28 in the UAE to move away from fossil fuels or to support lower-income countries in coping with climate disasters.The human cost of disasters is also not fully captured in these figures, it added.
As the second week of mid-year climate talks in Bonn began on Monday, it said these numbers demonstrate that the costs of the climate crisis are already being felt.“Rich countries, responsible for the lion’s share of the greenhouse gases that are heating the atmosphere and fuelling extreme events, should recognise their historic responsibility and increase their funding to the Loss and Damage Fund to help other countries cope with and recover from extreme weather,” Christian Aid said.Delegates at the UN climate negotiations in Dubai in December agreed on a new loss and damage fund to address the impacts of climate change disproportionately affecting poor communities in the Global South.
According to the report, floods that killed at least 169 people in Brazil and caused at least USD 7 billion in economic damages were made twice as likely by climate change.In South and Southwest Asia, flooding that killed at least 214 people and caused USD 850 million in insured damages in the UAE alone was also made more likely by climate change, it said.Simultaneous heatwaves in West, South, and Southeast Asia killed over 1,500 people in Myanmar alone, with heat deaths notoriously underreported, the report said.
“We cannot heal the burns caused by the climate crisis while we are still throwing fossil fuels on the fire,” Mariana Paoli, Christian Aid’s Global Advocacy Lead, who is from Brazil, said.“We need rich countries, who are largely responsible for causing the climate crisis, to massively scale up funding for climate action. They need to show real creativity and political will, and tax polluters and the super-rich to finance genuine climate action. We need to cancel historic debt owed to rich countries by poor ones, and instead ensure that money is used to improve climate equity, helping everyone to be safer from climate disasters,” Paoli said.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of leading climate scientists, the world needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 43 per cent by 2030 (compared to 2019 levels) and at least 60 per cent by 2035 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.Earth’s global surface temperature has already increased by around 1.15 degrees Celsius compared to the average in 1850-1900 due to the rapidly increasing concentration of greenhouse gases — primarily carbon dioxide and methane — in the atmosphere.Developing nations argue they cannot be expected to reduce CO2 emissions faster if developed countries — historically responsible for climate change — do not provide enhanced financial support.





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