The current manner in which our society is operating will leave us unprepared for the consequences of climate change, according to a recent report from world leaders. The report notes that our insufficient readiness will lead to increased poverty, water scarcity, and climate refugees, with an undeniable effect on our way of life.
An imperative trillion-dollar investment will be required to avoid the climate segregation, where the wealthy avert the ramifications of the climate chaos, and the poor continue to suffer. A trillion-dollar investment might sound like a lot, but it’s minuscule in comparison with the price we’ll pay if we don’t act soon.
According to the study created by the Global Commission on Adaption (GCA), the biggest challenge is not the high cost, but rather weak “political leadership that shakes people out of their collective slumber”.
Amidst the most pressing actions advised are early-warning systems of upcoming catastrophes, crop establishment that is capable of enduring severe droughts, and repairing mangrove swamps to safeguard the coasts. Other tactics involve painting rooftops white to better handle heatwaves.
What will happen if we don’t adjust our goals?
In the introduction to the report, United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and World Bank Chief Eecutive, Kristalina Georgieva, writes, “The climate crisis is here, now: massive wildfires ravage fragile habitats, city taps run dry, droughts scorch the land, and massive floods destroy people’s homes and livelihoods. So far the response has been gravely insufficient.”
Ban said, “I am really concerned about the lack of vision of political leaders. They are much more interested in getting elected and re-elected, and climate issues are not in their priorities. We are seeing this in the U.S with President Trump.”
The report indicates that we’re now at a point where dire consequences are certain. It predicts that 100 million additional people could fall into poverty in the next 10 years if our focus doesn’t shift. It’s estimated that the quantity of people who suffer from a lack of water will rise from 3.6 billion to 5 billion, creating a serious struggle for water, which will cause conflict and forced migration. Increasing ocean levels will push hundreds of millions of people from their coastal homes.
Chief Executive of the Global Center on Adaptation, Patrick Verkooijen, said, “What we truly see is the risk of a climate apartheid, where the wealthy pay to escape and the rest are left to suffer. That is a very profound moral injustice.”
The moral factor is not enough to create change by itself, he said. The report also looks at the economic aspect.
“It is a nation’s self-interest to invest in adaptation,” Verkooijen said. The study estimates investing $1.8 trillion in the next decade over the five major areas could return $7.1 trillion in net benefits, by circumventing damages and promoting economic development.