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Start Keeping Promises on Climate Finance, Developing Countries Urge G7, G20

Developing countries have presented G7 and G20 nations with a five-point plan to correct their “worrying lack of urgency” on climate finance in the lead-up to this year’s United Nations climate conference, COP 26, coming up in November.

“At least US$100 billion per year was promised by 2020 with increased annual sums from 2025,” the countries wrote last week. “However, this target has been missed and needs fixing urgently if developing countries can trust richer nations at COP 26 to keep to what they negotiate.”

The group of countries, which includes Bhutan, Bolivia, Gabon, Jamaica, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Somalia, and Tanzania, wants 50% of the dollars earmarked for adaptation to the impacts of climate change, with a separate fund for the irreversible “loss and damage” poorer countries have already gone through due to the historical emissions from rich countries, the International Business Times reports.

The developed world’s “lack of keeping promises on these key areas of finance, adaptation, and loss and damage is unacceptable,” said Fekadu Beyene, a member of Ethiopia’s Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission. “What’s the point of agreeing on a new set of promises if we don’t keep them?”

“Jamaica, whose contribution to climate change is ridiculously insignificant, already submitted a very ambitious NDC [its carbon reduction promise under the Paris Agreement], which almost doubles its clean and renewable energy target,” added Pearnel Charles Jr., the country’s minister of housing, urban renewal, environment, and climate change. “We do not expect less efforts from major emitters.”

Modern Ghana says the five-point plan covers:

• Stronger commitments to cut emissions faster, “led by those with the biggest responsibility and capacity”;

• Adherence to rich countries’ 2009 promise to devote US$100 billion per year to climate finance, beginning in 2020;

• Committing half of that money to “help the most vulnerable adapt” to the climate impacts they’re already seeing;

• Compensation for loss and damage;

• Implementation of Paris Agreement measures on transparency, carbon trading, and tougher national carbon reduction targets “after several summits of stalling”.

Power Shift Africa Director Mohamed Adow said the five-point plan had “fired the starting gun” on negotiations at COP 26. “These elements are what are required if we’re going to meet the challenges of the heating planet and its devastating climate consequences,” he told IBT.

“COP26 will be both a moral and practical test that will define the legacy of political leaders: earning them a badge of honour for steering the world through this critical time, or bearing the shame of being complicit in our demise,” agreed Climate Action Network-International Executive Director Tasneem Essop.