Climate finance : The Tribune India

During the COP27 summit in Egypt, India has rightly put the onus on rich countries to substantially enhance the quantum of climate finance to developing countries, while observing unsparingly that the commitment of $100 billion made over a decade ago by developed nations is ‘not only minuscule, given the scale of needs, but has also not been achieved yet.’ It was at COP15 in 2009 that developed countries had committed to jointly mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing nations withstand the impact of climate change. The flow of funds, however, has been erratic and inadequate over the years. Rich countries mobilised $52.5 billion in 2013 and $44.6 billion in 2015; the figure reached $80.4 billion in 2019 and rose to $83.3 billion in the succeeding year.

India and other developing countries are insisting that the wealthy nations should agree to a new global climate finance target, which ought to be in trillions instead of billions, considering that the costs of adapting to climate change have grown exponentially. According to estimates, resources in the range of $6-11 trillion are needed till 2030 to meet the targets set by developing countries in their Nationally Determined Contributions and Needs Determination Reports.

The World Bank, which uses money from affluent nations to offer loans and grants to poorer countries, has a major role to play in facilitating climate-linked funding. The World Bank Group gave $31.7 billion in climate finance to various countries in 2021-22, but it continues to face criticism over not doing enough to help developing nations make the shift to clean energy. Though climate adaptation is now globally considered to be as important as mitigation, international funding to enable countries to acclimatise themselves to climate chaos is only a small fraction of the requirement. While developed nations must be held accountable for brazenly polluting the planet to make huge profits and half-heartedly fulfilling their climate finance commitments, the menace of greenwashing — making misleading claims on net-zero emissions — needs to be dealt with strictly. Unscrupulous entities, including corporates and investors, should also be taken to task for undermining the fight against global warming.

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