Developed nations fail to meet climate fund target
- They will only reach the collective target three years late in 2023, according to the plan for spending released on Monday
The chances of the important COP26 climate summit starting in Glasgow later this month succeeding took a hit with rich countries announcing on Monday that they will miss by three years their promise of $100 billion a year as funding to developing and poor countries to help manage the climate crisis.
The highly anticipated climate finance delivery plan released on Monday, produced by the minister of environment and climate change for Canada, Jonathan Wilkinson and the state secretary, federal ministry for the environment, Germany, Jochen Flasbarth, said developed countries will likely be able to mobilise $100 billion a year only in 2023, a delay of three years from the 2020 deadline originally promised.
COP26 President, Alok Sharma had invited the ministers to draft this climate finance delivery plan in July to gain the trust of developing countries on the funding.
The announced plan delivery plan could be detrimental to the success of the summit as it may further erode the trust of developing countries such as India, which have been highlighting the lack of equity and justice in climate negotiations.
There was hope that the developed countries would agree to make good the shortfall in funding in initial years in later years, so as to reach an average of $100 billion a year in the five years to 2025, but that was not to be. Sharma said that it was “highly likely” that the funding would achieve that, but this found no mention in the plan that was released.
Flasbarth, who said he was “disappointed”, added that “there is a lot of money already on the table” and that it would “increase”.
In 2009, at COP15 in Copenhagen, developed countries committed to a goal of raising $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries. They specified that the finance would come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral, and multilateral, including alternative ones. The climate finance goal was formalised at COP16 in Cancun.
Separately, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change also released an updated analysis of nationally determined contributions submitted by 143 countries as on October 12 on Monday which suggested that overall there is likely to be a 16% increase in global GHG emissions in 2030 compared to 2010.
Comparison to the latest findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that such an increase, unless changed immediately, is likely to cause a temperature rise of about 2.7°C by the end of the century.
But the information submitted also confirms that the updated or new climate action plans can be effective in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over time.
“This latest report from the UNFCCC makes clear, to protect the world from the most devastating impacts of climate change, countries must take more ambitious action on emissions, and they must act now,” said COP26 president Alok Sharma. “That is why we especially need the biggest emitters, the G20 nations, to come forward with stronger commitments.”
“Developing countries are being asked to wait till 2023 for climate finance that was promised in 2009. The document provides no plan to increase urgently needed adaptation finance. Much of the shortfall in climate finance comes from the US , the largest economy and largest historical emitter,” said Ulka Kelkar, economist and director, climate programme at World Resources Institute.
COP26 ‘might go wrong’, warns UK PM Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said he was “very worried” that the 12-day COP26 climate summit he will host in Glasgow from later this week “might go wrong”.
But the UK leader told a special Downing Street press conference with children that he remained hopeful a deal can be done to reduce carbon emissions and limit future temperature rises. “I’m very worried because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need and it’s touch and go,” Johnson said.
“Once again, rich nations have failed to show commitment to provide finance to developing countries for climate action. They need to walk the talk. The delay in delivering the promised USD 100 billion a year of climate finance violates human rights of those who are already facing climate induced loss and damage, due to decades of inaction of rich countries. It is unfair to continue exerting pressure on developing economies to raise ambition on emission reduction, when developed nations are unable to find money that is so critical to support greener and resilient future of current and future generations," said Harjeet Singh, senior adviser, Climate Action Network International.