Clean water is the first line of defense against climate impacts, but a new report by WaterAid finds that only 5% of climate finance is spent on adaptation. Even less is spent in the most vulnerable countries, and less still on vital services like clean water, placing billions of lives at risk.
- Half of all countries receive less than $5.20 per person, per year in climate finance for both climate mitigation and adaptation.
- Having a reliable water supply is a vital defense against the immediate and future impact of climate change, but two billion people do not have a water service that can withstand the impacts of climate change.
- The ten countries with the lowest number of people with access to water close to home get on average $0.84 per person, per year in climate finance for water service adaptation.
A new WaterAid report, Short-changed on climate change, analyzes publicly available data on climate finance, water access and climate vulnerability. It found that half of all countries receive less than $5.20 per person, per year in climate finance for both climate mitigation and adaptation. Some of the most vulnerable countries receive significantly less.
WaterAid is calling for a rapid ten-fold increase in the amount of climate finance spent on getting clean water to those currently forced to live without it, improving their ability to cope with climate impacts.
For the poorest people, the most immediate and widespread impacts of climate change are felt through water in extreme droughts, sea level rises, vast floods and powerful storms. Water systems are uniquely vulnerable as climate change piles more pressure on already overstretched water-sources. Those who have done the least to contribute to global warming are carrying the greatest burden of climate change – most often through droughts and flooding.
Access to clean water is a first line defense against climate change, but the most climate-vulnerable countries have some of the lowest levels of clean water access in the world. Around 800 million people still live without even a village water-pump or covered well close to home. Two billion people live without a water service that is reliable and safe from contamination, putting them at risk of waterborne disease and death.
Half of countries where more than 10% of people do not have water close to home get less than $1 per person, per year in climate finance for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) service adaptation. The ten countries with the lowest number of people with access to water close to home get on average $0.84 per person, per year in climate finance for water service adaptation – and Madagascar, where nearly half the population do not have water close to home, gets just $0.17 per person, per year.