Climate change: Shocking prediction of scientists - Deaths from heat will quadruple

Societies in European countries are currently on alert for dangerous, extreme heat

Screenshot 1 11 DEATHS, climate change

In a context of donor funding failing to keep pace with growing humanitarian needs arising from climate change, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) deputy secretary-general Nena Stoiljkovic called for humanitarian solutions to "adapt and to become as local as possible".

Societies in European countries are currently on alert for dangerous, extreme heat

Speaking on Wednesday (26/6) at the UN Economic and Social Council's (ECOSOC) 2024 Humanitarian Affairs Department (HAS), Nena Stoiljkovic said that "climate change affects everyone, but not equally" – a case in point , with temperature records being broken one after another amid unprecedented heatwaves worldwide, is access to air conditioning.

“Scientists' conservative prediction is that annual heat-related deaths will quadruple by mid-century, with heat exposure expected to increase potential work hours lost globally by 50%.

"We have to ask ourselves: are we really prepared for such an eventuality? And as the temperatures rise, who gets left behind?'

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Effective mitigation and adaptation were based on local action and local solutions, he added, because climate impacts "are very different in relatively small geographical areas, so actions need to be 'rooted' and connected to communities".

The IFRC Deputy Secretary-General for Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitization was presenting an analysis of the challenges posed by the climate crisis at a HAS high-level panel meeting on the impact of climate change on humanitarian emergencies.

Climate change 'front-end financing'

The panel explored "preventive approaches, early warning systems and disaster risk reduction and related funding," the UN said, as well as "the current disaster landscape ... including the specific challenges faced by women and girls."

It also focused on the "increasing intersection between climate, food insecurity, displacement and conflict".

In terms of solutions coming from the IFRC, Nena Stoiljkovic called, firstly, for the scaling up of "earmarked funding", which currently represented just 3% of total crisis funding. "This needs to be increased if we are to fund early warnings that lead to early action at the community level."

The IFRC, he added, is “developing 75 new early action protocols to significantly increase proactiveness across our network. Science and data have given us the tools to warn communities and act earlier, saving countless lives and livelihoods. Now the funding must follow…”.

Second, he said, while "we use insurance in our daily lives to manage a range of risks ... its use is relatively rare in the humanitarian sector", and the IFRC was one of the few humanitarian organizations that had established a relationship with the insurance sector, specifically to strengthen the Disaster Emergency Response Fund (DREF)

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Third, with the largest gaps in climate finance arising from a lack of investment in local communities, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected countries, the IFRC is “bringing together short- and long-term responses to build community-level climate resilience” through global climate resilience platform and IFRC and DREF.

Through the platform, the ambition now was to grow the 186 million Swiss francs channeled into communities in 92 climate-vulnerable countries to 1 billion Swiss francs over the next five years in 100 countries.

Since 1998, ECOSOC's HAS has provided a key opportunity for States, the United Nations system, development actors, the private sector and other humanitarian partners "to discuss current and emerging humanitarian challenges and priority issues and to share experiences and lessons". , says the UN.

The meeting in question - addressed by Nena Stoiljkovic - was one of four HAS high-level group meetings this year, with previous ones covering:

the 75th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions,
innovation and new technology in humanitarian aid and women and girls at the center of prevention, and
response and protection.

Societies in European countries are currently on alert for dangerous, extreme heat. The Hellenic Red Cross is the latest to activate an early heat action protocol.