Rich nations make ‘disappointing’ progress in climate finance: OECD
PARIS: Rich countries are making little progress towards meeting their pledge to provide $100 billion a year to poorer nations to combat climate change, the OECD said on Friday.
Developing countries, which bear the greatest impact from climate change, received $79.6 billion in 2019, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in its latest report on the issue.
That is more than $20 billion below what wealthy nations promised to give every year, starting from 2020 to help the poorer countries curb their carbon footprint and cope with the future climate impacts.
The 2019 figure is the most recent available and marked a 2 per cent increase from the year earlier, a sharp slowdown from the rates of earlier years.
And watchdog groups have warned that even those numbers may be inflated.
“The limited progress in [the] overall climate finance volumes between 2018 and 2019 is disappointing, particularly ahead of COP26 (the UN climate summit in November),” OECD secretary general Mathias Cormann said in a statement.
“While appropriately verified data for 2020 will not be available until early next year, it is clear that climate finance will remain well short of its target,” he said.
“More needs to be done. We know that the donor countries recognise this,” he said, adding that Canada and Germany are moving forward a plan to mobilise the additional finance required to reach the $100 billion annual goal.
Meanwhile, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still unknown.
Low income countries have been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 crisis, with the waves of disease and lockdowns wrecking economic havoc, even as the climate change-driven disasters and threats continue to mount.
Public climate finance from developed countries accounted for the lion’s share of the 2019 figure, some $62.9 billion, with another $2.6 billion in the government-backed export credits.
The rest, some $14 billion, came from the private investment mobilised by public mechanisms.
The 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen mandated that the poorer nations were to receive the $100 billion and the pledge was renewed in the 2015 ParisAgreement.
But where the money was to come from and how it would be allocated were not spelt out, which has made tracking progress towards that goal both difficult and disputed.
The promise has been a recurring source of anger in the poor countries and it will likely be a key point of contention at the crunch UN climate talks in Glasgow in November.
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