Rich countries set to miss annual target of $ 100 billion in climate cash

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Rich countries will not deliver the long-promised $ 100 billion in climate finance for poor countries before 2023, three years behind schedule, according to a report.

Public and private funding totaling US $ 100 billion (£ 72 billion) per year by 2020 – to help poor countries develop properly and cope with the impacts of global warming – were first pledged times during the troubled UN talks in Copenhagen in 2009.

The commitment, which was extended in 2015 until 2025, has become a totem figure in international climate action to support countries that have contributed least to the crisis but are most vulnerable to its impacts.

Providing finance has been one of the UK’s key objectives as host of the latest round of UN climate talks which begins in Glasgow in less than a week, Cop26 chairman, Alok Sharma, describing it as “a matter of trust”.

Alok Sharma (Justin Tallis / AP)

The analysis shows that while developed countries have increased climate finance flows over the past decade, it is unlikely that the $ 100 billion target will have been reached in 2020, and that it is also likely to fall. ” be insufficient in 2021 and 2022.

A climate finance plan, led by German Secretary of State Jochen Flasbarth and Canadian Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson at the behest of Mr Sharma, said he was confident the target would be reached in 2023.

Developed countries are likely to be able to mobilize more than 100 billion dollars per year in the years to come, he noted.

The plan, which aimed to clarify when and how developed countries would meet the target, draws on analysis by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and includes new pledges of financial support made by countries until October 20. .

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Sharma said the plan offered clarity, transparency and accountability, was a step towards restoring confidence and would give developing countries more assurance of predictable support.

But he added: “We can and must do more to ensure that funding flows to developing countries.

“So, looking ahead to Cop26, it is essential that we see new commitments from developed countries and actions on key priorities such as access to finance and finance for adaptation. “

Activists warned that developed countries must do more to provide finance to developing countries.

Teresa Anderson, climate policy coordinator at ActionAid International, said providing an average of $ 100 billion a year was the bare minimum to build confidence in the talks.

World leaders must recognize and close the glaring gap between the current target of $ 100 billion per year and the trillions needed to address the scale and urgency of the crisis

Teresa anderson

She said vital support was provided in the form of grants, and at least 50% of these were devoted to efforts to adapt to climate extremes.

“World leaders must recognize and close the glaring gap between the current target of $ 100 billion per year and the trillions needed to cope with the scale and urgency of the crisis,” he said. -she adds.

The plan comes after OECD analysis found that climate finance provided and mobilized by developed countries was just under $ 80 billion in 2019.

He also revealed that the majority of money came from public sources in 2019, with private funding flows underperforming, although the majority of public money is made up of loans rather than grants.

Far more money has been spent on funding emission reductions than on helping countries and communities adapt to extreme weather conditions and rising seas, despite calls for funding to be made. divided equally between mitigation and adaptation.

The OECD analysis for the delivery plan does not contain figures on the level of funding provided in 2020, but predicts that there will be around $ 83 billion to $ 88 billion delivered in 2021.

He also estimates funding between $ 92 billion and $ 97 billion in 2022, then $ 101-106 billion in 2023.

By 2025, developed countries will mobilize $ 113 billion to $ 117 billion, the analysis predicts.

The plan sets out measures to deliver on the funding pledge, including increasing funds for adaptation, prioritizing grants for the poorest and most vulnerable, improving access to finance, and working with communities. multilateral banks to increase climate finance.

Mohamed Adow, director of the Nairobi-based Power Shift Africa think tank, said: “One hundred billion dollars is less than the UK alone is spending on the HS2 rail link, yet the combined wealth of all developed countries of the world are refusing money to help cope with the climate crisis.

He called it “utterly shameful,” adding: “The leaders of the developed world must pull their finger and put this money on the table if Cop26 is to be successful.”

Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said Glasgow must be the pinnacle of “climate delivery, not climate delay”.

“Any progress towards the long-promised $ 100 billion is welcome, but rather than materializing today, this plan appears to offer more promises for tomorrow without the concrete commitments to back them up.”

And he accused the rest of the government of undermining Sharma’s efforts to provide the funding, warning that the reduction in the aid budget had sent “precisely the wrong signal to others” and made it more difficult to achieve the goal. goal.