G7 announce novel action plan to combat climate change effects

The G7 2021 summit has initiated a new action plan to scale up safety for the planet’s most vulnerable communities against climate change effects.

The UK, Germany, and the USA have declared the inception of a support package; this will include £120 million from the UK and €125 million from Germany in new funding, which will be utilised to enhance the protection of vulnerable people from climate change effects, such as rapid response times for when climate-linked disasters hit.

The package will introduce pre-arranged financing for vulnerable communities so that systems will be put in place efficiently for those who need it most, for example, payments for when harvests fail. This new strategy will assist in mitigating climate change effects, such as damages to infrastructure and loss of livelihoods, and comes before November’s COP26 climate conference, of which ensuring security for poor communities will be a topic of paramount importance.

The UK and Germany will invest this money into regional disaster protection schemes in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Pacific, and the Caribbean to protect poor communities from climate change effects, preserving lives and livelihoods. The new action plan will supplement the InsuResilience Global Partnership’s Vision 2025 and the Risk Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP), which are crucial global coalitions striving to alleviate climate change effects. Furthermore, the USA announced that it would be joining the other G7 countries as a member of the InsuResilience Global Partnership and REAP.

As climate change effects are continuing to be exacerbated, the frequency and severity of climate-linked disasters are increasing, with women and marginalised groups the most affected in developing countries. Droughts, rising sea levels, hurricanes, flooding, and a wide array of natural disasters pose a substantial threat to the lives and infrastructure of those of the highest vulnerability, potentially placing in excess of 100 million people below the poverty line by 2030 if action is not taken.

Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign and Development Secretary, said: “Tackling climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time as, without action, it could push more than 100 million people below the poverty line as soon as 2030. This joint UK, US and German action will enable quicker responses to extreme weather and climate-linked disasters in countries bearing the brunt of climate change.”

Gerd Müller, the German Development Minister, said: “Climate change is a reality – and we must not lose sight of this fact even in these times of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that the UK G7 Presidency has made climate action a focus of the summit. As those most responsible for causing climate change, we must assume responsibility for its consequences. Droughts in Africa, floods in Asia – for the poorest, these climate disasters often mean the loss of their livelihoods. But less than 5% of the damage in these countries is covered by insurance. Through our new commitments, we are taking an important step towards ensuring, by 2025, 500 million people in developing countries against damage caused by climate change. This means that emergency programmes can provide quick and targeted assistance to those affected when a disaster strikes.”

Nigel Clarke, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service, commented: “It is increasingly evident that disaster risk financing is central to fiscal and debt sustainability. The Government of Jamaica, therefore, welcomes the new commitments by the G7 towards disaster risk financing; this will help build resilience to climate change and its fiscal impact. Jamaica is implementing a multi-layered strategy of risk transfer instruments. This ex-ante fiscal planning reduces Jamaica’s sovereign risk premium and will provide fiscal resources to help finance the emergency costs associated with natural disasters and other climatic shocks.

“The new package of action was announced following the G7 Leaders Summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, UK. It builds on commitments agreed by G7 countries last month to support efforts to respond to the risk of famine and other humanitarian disasters, as well as the rising threat of loss and damage and to make people safer from disasters through early warning, better preparedness, and early action. This is in addition to action to scale up the finance needed to help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

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