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Climate Change - $1 Trillion La Niña Problem

The world has witnessed three consecutive years of La Niña. However, the problem is getting worse. Fatal floods in Pakistan, wildfires in the American West, heavy rains in Australia and Indonesia, and megadroughts in South America are devastating disasters that La Niña has exacerbated for the past few years. According to Bloomberg, by the end of 2023, La Niña would have cost $1 trillion in weather-related damages. What can humanity do to prevent this?


Even though La Niña is a natural occurrence in the global climate system due to variations in ocean temperature, it is human-caused climate change that influences ocean temperatures and intensifies the severity of La Niña. This indicates that it is possible to mitigate the effects of the disaster; currently, over 4,000 companies have committed to the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, whereas over 80 countries have committed to the Net Zero ambition. Given the apparent disparity between the commitment and the severity of the ongoing catastrophes, collaborations between the private and public sectors are required to develop the governance structures and processes that link long-term climate commitments to near-term policy planning and execution.


Climate measures are bolstered by increased access to funding, resources, and innovations when the business and governmental sectors work together. An example of effective collaboration is the partnership between the public and private sectors in Japan, where a comprehensive zero-emissions strategy with sustainability projects in every urban area is established. For instance, in Toyama City, business owners are trained to minimize commercial waste and monitor their progress using data. The city officials also visit business locations to identify and research advanced trash reduction strategies, which are then extensively shared with other businesses via training programs. This allows Toyama to promote awareness and increase both the rate at which companies submit trash reduction plans and their participation in training. With the strategy, the public sector helps firms and investors make short-term and long-term investment decisions and accelerates the innovation required to achieve long-term goals.

The ongoing effect of La Niña’s reflects the failure of the global community to develop comprehensive policies to tackle climate change effectively. While ambitious long-term goals are essential, they are not necessarily helpful in guiding short-term policy and motivating action. Governments must provide a standard measurement, while businesses must develop a comprehensive strategy to achieve their goals. Climate security is a global public benefit, and national and international actions will be required to achieve it.

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