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Oxfam estimates that adapting to climate change in developing countries is likely to cost at least $50bn each year, and far more if global greenhouse-gas emissions are not cut fast enough. Yet international funding efforts to date have been woeful. In the year that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its direst warnings to date of the impacts of climate change on vulnerable developing countries, the rich and high-polluting countries increased their contribution to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for urgent adaptation needs by a mere $43m. This brings the total pledged to $163m – less than half of what the UK is investing in cooling the London Underground. Worse, only $67m has actually been delivered to the Fund – that’s less than what people in the USA spend on suntan lotion in one month.

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