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26/08/2021

Money and cooperation are the keys to making COP26 a success

Tackling the climate crisis remains a multidimensional challenge. Targets for mitigation and adaptation are plausible; however, without the right frameworks and actions capable of addressing the impacts of climate change, targets cannot be met.

The challenges posed by the escalating intensity of the climate disasters in the past 18 months made circumstances more favourable for the spread of Covid-19 and they affected measures to curb the pandemic.

This affected mostly the poorest and most vulnerable in communities that contribute least to the climate crisis. The role of climate change as an environmental determinant of public health should no longer be denied. It cannot be business as usual. How governments act next is critical to tackling the worst effects of the crisis on present and future generations.

It is anticipated that COP26 will achieve a clear pathway for climate-resilient economies and an effective mechanism for collaboration on climate actions. But climate adaptation cannot be achieved without delivery of the $100 billion climate finance goal. Assembling the finance to respond to the climate emergency is a challenge faced by every nation. Under-investment in climate action initiatives will affect the most disadvantaged communities.

Without finance for resilient infrastructure and green jobs, the protection of human rights, including rights to housing and livelihood, will be weakened. The scale of the measures needed to confront the emergency require all forms of finance – public and private, local and international.

“Vested interests and extreme nationalism should not undermine the collective abilities to address the climate emergency”

These challenges require holistic action. Siloed thinking and poor coordination within institutions, governments, and industries has not only hindered the realisation of targets, it has led to duplication of systems and so to resource mismanagement. Emphasising collaborations between governments, academia, businesses, civil society and communities will help to tackle the crisis more efficiently. Vested interests and nationalism should not undermine the collective abilities to address the climate emergency. Maximising the opportunities created by the pandemic to regenerate plans that will build resilience communities is important.

Olafiyin Taiwo MRTPI is co-chair of Planners for Climate Action at UN Habitat and convenor of the Young Planners’ Network for the Commonwealth Association of Planners

Image credit | iStock

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