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Wealthy countries still haven’t met their $100 billion pledge to help poor countries face climate change, and the risks are rising

Wealthy countries still haven’t met their $100 billion pledge to help poor countries face climate change, and the risks are rising

A man sorts through dried red beans spread on a blanket while a woman winnows more beans in a flat basket, with thatched huts visible in the background.

After another year of Record-breaking temperatures Extreme weather disastersThe wealthy are being pressured to make good on their promises Their commitmentTo mobilize US$100 million a year to aid poorer countries in dealing with climate change.

Developed Countries Now, project that they won’t meet that pledge until 2023 – three years late and still woefully short of the Real need.

A report due Feb. 28 From the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeThis is expected to show more evidence of the reality facing billions of people. Developing countries that have contributed less to climate change are experiencing the greatest damage, and it is only getting worse.

These small islands and low-lying coastlines are ideal. Losing land to rising waters. Flooding caused by extreme storms is wiping out people’s livelihoods in Africa and Asia. People are being affected by heat wavesPeople without access to cooling are at risk of losing their crops and affecting the marine life communities they depend on. These and other climate impacts are costly for low-income countries, according to documents from the United Nations. This is much more than the promised $100 billion per annum.

What’s less clear is how much impact the Climate finance is already flowing to these countriesEstimated at $79.6 BillionIn 2019, it is having. There is a huge lack of data and evidence that countries have been supporting. Climate-degrading projects with money they count as “climate finance.”

The problem is in how the money gets from donors and into countries in dire need. I have worked closely in developing countriesSeeking help to combat climate change. I believe that by paying closer attention to the strengths and weaknesses of climate finance delivery channels and matching them to countries’ needs, the international community can make a real difference in the fight against climate change.

How does climate finance flow

Three major channels are available to donor countries to channel climate finance: bilateral agreements between small countries and international funds like the IFC Green Climate FundDevelopment banks such as the World Bank. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Bilateral agreementsFirst, countries can negotiate financing commitments directly, also known under the name bilateral agreements. These agreements allow donors to target specific areas and are often more efficient that multilateral agreements because they involve fewer entities.

For example, South Africa and a group donor countries were announced at the Glasgow climate conference in December 2021. An $8.5 billion effortto assist South Africa in its transition away from coal and increase the production of renewable energy. This agreement allowed four national governments and representatives of the European Union, to come together and create a package that addressed the needs of South Africa.

Groups of donors have also gathered together to support national-level funding, though Research in progressThese arrangements are often not used.

One of the major problems with bilateral arrangements is their vulnerability to political attention. Although news stories can attract funding, there are still some countries that struggle to get the help they need.

Climate funds:It is precisely because countries need consistent access to climate finance that international climate funds are available.

For example, the U.N. backed Green Climate FundOne of the largest, and offers universal eligibility. The GCF’s scope is also deliberately broad to allow room for programming based on what countries actually need, rather than what is politically attractive at any given moment.

However, pledges to the GCF have been limited to about $18 billion. Contributions from developed countries are more likely through their bilateral channels or major development banks to be routed than through climate-focused funds.

A man sorts through dried red beans spread on a blanket while a woman winnows more beans in a flat basket, with thatched huts visible in the background.
Ugandan farmers sort through fast-maturing beans. A large portion of the funding for agriculture projects is used to adapt to climate change and increase sustainability.
AP Photo/Rodney Muhumuza

Banks for development:Final note: Although large amounts of climate finance are managed by major development banks, there are two main barriers to their full use.

First, these banks have not been ambitious enough to incorporate climate change into their programming. Some of these banks have actually done so. came under scrutinyWhen their Joint statementThe Glasgow climate conference did no include any specific targets or timelines for ending funding for fossil fuel projects.

Second, most development banks are not able to mobilize private sector finance effectively. Partly because of their business models. Development banks prefer projects that are less risky and prefer to operate in environments where there is low cost of doing business. Private sector funding is essential to fill the climate finance gap. Development banks need to use instruments that can better mobilize private capital, such as equity, instead of heavily relying on lending.

Splitting climate finance among these channels ultimately makes financing inefficient. This means that developing countries only receive a fraction of the resources needed to make a difference. The international community is not learning from experimentation or betting on bold ideas by spreading finance thinly over different delivery channels.

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Impact: Get serious

The current situation is the Attempts to track the $100 BillionThey are focused on calculating how much money has actually been flown and where it has gone, rather than what impact has been had. Two key issues complicate efforts to measure the impact.

First, there is no consensus on what climate finance means. Countries define it as they see fit. Japan, for example, used money to finance new coal plants. more efficient than old ones, but still highly polluting, as “climate finance.”

Second, some programs help countries to put in place policies and plans. Countries have received, for example, Support to create national adaptation programs. The success of these planning efforts is directly related to how well they are implemented.

If the world community is serious in rising to the climate crisis, we need to have three conversations:

1) The amount of financing should be far greater than $100 billion.

2) The international community should be more specific in identifying the best sources and channels to meet specific needs.

3) More research is necessary to assess the impacts of international climate finance sofar and to determine which delivery channels work best.

The $100 billion in promised funding has been realized Much-needed glue that helps hold the U.N. climate process together – it reflects the responsibility borne by countries that have been emitting greenhouse gases for years for driving climate change and the harm to countries that emit little.

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