On 13 June the UK, Germany and USA announced a new package of funding to provide ‘support for countries on the frontline of climate change and humanitarian disasters’. It’s an important step forward in recognising the responsibility that G7 member countries have to support climate action globally. But the announcement also raises some questions.
The experience of GNDR members shows that preventing disaster risks in the first place is equally as important as preparing for and responding to disasters. This commitment from the UK, Germany and the US focuses heavily on preparing for and reacting to climate-related events (e.g. through anticipatory action, insurance schemes, etc). But our research directly with communities at risk shows that supporting disaster prevention and tackling the drivers of risk are essential if we are to build long-term sustainable development.
In the announcement the UK and Germany say they will jointly provide about £245 million in support of actions tackling the impacts of climate change. But It's unclear whether this is new or previously committed funding.
Since 2009, developed countries, including G7 members, have committed to contribute $100 billion a year to support adaptation and mitigation actions. During this year’s G7 meeting, this commitment was reaffirmed, but the amount was not raised. Will the UK and Germany’s £245 million contribution be part of this previous global commitment or in addition to it? While significant, the $100 billion commitment is still far short of what’s needed to address the urgency and scale of climate impacts.
The commitment to allocate resources to address some aspects of loss and damage is obviously a great step forward, but there is a lack of effective policy discussion around the support needed for affected countries to avert, minimize and address loss and damage. Personally I hope that this announcement means a new and enhanced commitment to meaningfully discuss loss and damage during the COP negotiations.
I would also like to see the other G7 countries give stronger commitments to promote policy coherence and risk-informed approaches to climate action. Attention must be given to communities most at risk, and approaches that put local communities at the centre, rather than at the fringes, of climate decisions.