A $100 billion climate aid proposal for impoverished nations agreed


Despite protests from the US and other countries, a roadmap for how affluent countries will give $100 billion per year to poor countries dealing with climate change is due to be published on Monday.

The proposal is viewed as crucial to the success of the UN COP26 climate conference, which will begin on October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland. Rich countries have fallen short of their 2009 goal to provide $100 billion yearly to poor countries to assist them to deal with climate change, transition to renewable energy, and develop resilience. Some poor countries, such as Bangladesh and Indonesia, have stated that they would be unable to increase their climate promises without more funding.

Also Read: Beyond coal: The COP26 climate summit aims to put an end to deforestation

In 2019, the most recent year for which figures are available, developed countries fell around $20 billion short of the $100 billion objectives.

According to three individuals familiar with the subject who requested anonymity to discuss private deliberations, the US had opposed a plan to make up for shortages in prior payments with bigger contributions in future years. The individuals said an announcement, which had been expected this week, will be made Monday.

“A successful COP26 will require progress on the finance agenda,” said Lorena Gonzalez, senior associate for UN Climate Finance with the World Resources Institute.

“Leadership has been lacking”, Gonzalez added. “Developed countries will need to show a new level of solidarity, also in terms of acknowledging the impacts of the pandemic have been uneven and so has been the recovery.”

President Joe Biden said last month that the United States will pay $11.4 billion in climate funding per year through 2024. In the fiscal year 2022, Congress is expected to spend between $2.8 billion and $3.1 billion on climate funding. Despite this, the United States remains well behind other industrialized countries in terms of reaching its portion of the objective.

According to the sources, a significant sticking point in discussions has been whether — and how — to account for persistent shortages this year and last so that finance still reaches a $100 billion annual average between 2020 and 2025. The United States was among the countries concerned about the group’s capacity to boost payments collectively in future years to compensate, the people said.

President Alok Sharma of COP26 urged Canadian environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson and Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary of Germany’s environment ministry, to provide the proposal before the UN meeting.

Wilkinson’s and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry’s spokespeople did not immediately reply to calls for comment.

Sharma claimed negotiators were “within touching distance” of a final deal during a meeting with European Union ambassadors on Thursday, and advised attendees to “check your pockets for stray coins”, according to a source familiar with the discussion.

The expenditure proposal is being extensively scrutinized as an indication of affluent countries’ commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are the primary cause of climate change. Even as negotiators strive to construct a fresh financing pledge beyond 2025, a poor proposal will complicate negotiations at the climate conference by eroding the credibility of industrialized nations and inflaming divisions on the issue.

Source – Business Standard