COP26: Finance will be key

The success of Glasgow will not be judged by how many countries sign up for net-zero targets, but how much money the rich world is willing to put up to enable this transition
The Indian delegation warned that global action on the climate crisis is contingent on timely and adequate financing from developed countries (AFP)
The Indian delegation warned that global action on the climate crisis is contingent on timely and adequate financing from developed countries (AFP)
Published on Nov 09, 2021 05:56 PM IST
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ByHT Editorial

The Conference of the Parties (COP26) meet, currently underway in Glasgow, entered its second (final) week on Monday, with the issue of climate finance taking centrestage. On Monday, the Indian delegation warned that global action on the climate crisis is contingent on timely and adequate financing from developed countries. Instead of finalising a road map, India added, the rich world is trying to renegotiate who or which countries will provide resources for climate change mitigation, and how often nationally determined contributions will be updated, violating principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities. India has also flagged that “trust in multilateralism” is at stake due to the failure of the rich world to deliver the $100 billion-a-year fund. Many developing countries seconded India’s view.

India and the other developing countries have every reason to feel shortchanged. In 2009, rich nations promised to give developing countries $100 billion a year by 2020 to help them adapt to the climate crisis. But now they are resisting demands for a new finance goal for the post-2025 period, financial compensation for loss and damage, and an independent review of the promised $100 billion-a-year financing. Then is also the issue of whether more countries (such as China and Saudi Arabia, even India) should be added to the list of donors. Discussions are also underway on whether private capital can be included in the finance goal. India has said clearly (and correctly) that it doesn’t consider commercial finance to be climate finance, which has to be concessional and grant-based.

In the run-up to COP26, there was pressure on the developing world, including India, to enhance their climate ambition, even though they are in no way responsible for the climate crisis and have their development goals to meet. Yet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a set of climate plans that most experts have called “substantive”. As things stand now, the real problem seems to be that the developed world doesn’t want to hold up its end of the bargain. The basic principle of climate justice and equity will be violated if they do not respond to the enhanced commitments with finance. The success of Glasgow will not be judged by how many countries sign up for net-zero targets, but how much money the rich world, the historical polluter, is willing to put up to enable this transition.

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Sunday, December 05, 2021