by Surya Karki and Nathan Thanki
Intervention delivered by Surya Karki on behalf of Youth NGOs;
Thank you Mr. President.
My name is Surya, and am speaking on behalf of the youth constituencies. I am from Nepal where I have seen firsthand the impacts of climate change. Droughts are impacting agriculture, the main source of income for people in my village, and people are going hungry as a result. Droughts are drying up sources of drinking water and people must build rainwater catchment systems.
There is a real human cost to climate change, and a real financial cost to adapt. Both are too high.
The total adaptation cost per year has been estimated in excess of $450b per year. This is not including the costs of losses and damages, which amount to billions, nor the costs of improving people’s standards of living and meeting their basic needs.
In spite of this need, the Adaptation Fund has only capitalized $324 million in the 12 years since it was established.
We have to ask why? Why has so little money been given when the need has been so great? Why, when there are trillions for war, bank bailouts, and corporate fossil fuel subsidies?
A general answer must be that the rich nations have avoided their moral and legal obligation to provide climate finance. In the case of the Adaptation Fund, the answer is that we are using the wrong tools. As well as being adequate, finance should be predictable and sustainable. But with the prices of CERs dropping, that is impossible. The CDM has failed. If learning by doing is the theory of several parties in this hall, it is now time to try a different approach.
The Adaptation Fund is being written into the history books. The report shows how the Board has had to resort to online fundraising from individuals. So far they have raised $1000. Last year, the Fund was only able to finance three projects.
To the developed countries, I ask: Why do you continue to shirk your responsibility? In my village people have never seen a bus, and when they see a plane it’s from the ground. Yet they are feeling the impacts of climate change. Now you are telling them to pay themselves for adaptation? Where does responsibility lie?