West needs to bear its climate funding duty - Hindustan Times
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West needs to bear its climate funding duty

ByHT Editorial
May 06, 2024 09:21 PM IST

The attempt to split the financing burden makes a mockery of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility that underpins global climate talks.

The refusal of the developed nations to shoulder their fair share of responsibility in the climate crisis is baffling, given the window for action to contain warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 is closing fast. At the Cartagena Ad Hoc Work Programme (AHWP) talks — in the run up to the actual negotiations at the Conference of Parties (CoP) — the United States and other western countries have reportedly pushed to make the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) contributions “voluntary” for those who “choose to pay”. They have also advocated widening the pool of contributors to include developing nations based on the latter’s “economic realities” and “current emission share”. With all indications of these positions becoming entrenched before the next CoP at Baku, Azerbaijan, hopes of a momentum getting built on the Paris (CoP 21) climate financing targets are fading rapidly.

This development undermines faith in the West’s commitment to meaningful efforts to limit the warming fallout (Representative file image) PREMIUM
This development undermines faith in the West’s commitment to meaningful efforts to limit the warming fallout (Representative file image)

This development undermines faith in the West’s commitment to meaningful efforts to limit the warming fallout. On climate financing specifically, the weakness of its intent showed when the 2020 deadline for $ 100 billion in annual funding for adaptation and mitigation measures in developing and least developed economies was not met.

Now, the attempt to split the financing burden makes a mockery of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility that underpins global climate talks. Such evasion of historical responsibility and the fact that the bulk of financing from the West so far has reached the developing and least developed nations in the form of debt, as opposed to grants, erodes trust in the developed world, which, in turn, imperils global climate action.

Developed nations must course correct immediately, given that the climate crisis is a shared condition. If it gets any worse, it does so for all.

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