‘Less than what NFL earns’: India urges developed nations to deliver on $100 billion climate pledge
India displayed a stern stance regarding climate change at the United Nations on Friday, pointing out that a “large gap” still exists in the commitment made by developed nations to provide developing countries with $100 billion for climate action. “This amount is less than what NFL (National Football League; the professional American football tournament) earns on media right,” said TS Tirumurti, India's permanent representative to the UN, while speaking on climate action at the ongoing 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76).
Long-term finance was a key pillar of the Paris Agreement (Paris Climate Accords), which recognised that it is crucial for developed nations to contribute to global efforts to tackle the climate crisis in order to aid developing nations to catch up with the efforts. However, even though this pledge of financial support—to mobilise $100 billion annually in climate finance to support the needs of developing countries—was made in 2010, much of it has still not been met. In fact, the UN climate change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa also personally urged the developed countries earlier this year in June to make good on their promise, according to an official statement by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Recognising that there is a need to desist from “cherry-picking” of the UNFCCC's structure, India's permanent representative to the UN, Tirumurti, said that the negotiation should be done by all the member-states and not just a few nations who tend to decide for all. “There is a need to desist from ‘cherry-picking’ from the inclusive and comprehensive structure of the UNFCCC,” the ANI news agency quoted Tirumurti as saying. “It is negotiated by all the member-states. A few should not decide for all. India supports member-states driven process in the interest of developing countries.”
According to Patricia Espinosa, who was speaking at the UN climate talks earlier this year, nations are still “talking about this promise” even though the need for climate action becomes more desperate with each passing day.
“We are still talking about this promise, despite greenhouse gas emissions continuing to be at their highest concentration ever; while extreme weather continues to decimate more parts of the world and with greater intensity; and while vulnerable people continue to suffer, continue to lose their livelihoods and their lives,” said the UN climate change executive secretary.
The trillions of dollars being spent by developed nations for recovery from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) shows that $100 billion annually could be mobilised “relatively easily with the adequate political will”, according to the UN. For many nations, securing the financing necessary to spur their own transition to a more sustainable future can’t happen without this promised support. This includes action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and action to build resilience to the inevitable impacts of climate change, such as frequent and severe droughts, floods, and storms.