Ireland’s largest humanitarian organisation has slammed COP26 as a betrayal of the world’s poorest countries, including millions of people who are facing more floods, droughts and extreme weather events.
Concern Worldwide, which was at COP26 in Glasgow to highlight the impact that climate change is already having on the lives of the poorest, said the leaders of wealthy countries had failed the most vulnerable.
“As usual, national economic growth has been prioritised by political leaders over sustainable economies and livelihoods. The existential threat to the planet and the immediate threat to the lives and livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people have not been given the urgency they demand,” said Connell Foley, Concern’s Director of Advocacy.
“The $100 billion a year promised by high income countries in 2009 to help people in poorer countries adapt to the ever increasing droughts, floods and extreme weather events that come with climate change has never been delivered, and now it’s been further pushed down the line to 2023,” he added.
“People in these countries are being forgotten, they don’t have the luxury of delaying how they feed themselves, keep shelter over their heads, keep their families safe.”
“The countries least responsible for climate change are being driven into debt trying to deal with the impacts of climate change and related crises.”
Concern also said that the commitment to climate finance, to help people adapt to their changing environments, needs to be in addition to overseas development budgets, which are already overstretched.
“What failed to be addressed at COP26 was finance for the losses and damages already caused by climate impacts in developing countries. The outcome committed to more dialogue, rather than action on this issue of critical importance for the most vulnerable countries” said Mr Foley.
“While some progress was made at COP26, it is worlds away from what is needed. There is always a lag time between commitments and their implementation in terms of actions, so the lack of urgency and ambitious targets is extremely worrying. But we will continue to push world leaders for immediate action and will work with the most vulnerable to make sure that their voices are heard louder than ever”.
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