Back in 2009, the world’s major economies committed to provide up to $100 billion in annual funding by 2020 to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Now those same governments are getting together to provide a new plan that will, ideally, get them back on track toward meeting their commitments… by 2023.
“We can and must do more to get finance flowing to developing nations. So in the lead up to COP26, it’s vital we see further pledges from the donor community and action on key priorities such as access to finance and funding for adaptation,” said the UK politician Alok Sharma, whose heading up the global climate change negotiations slated for next week in Glasgow.
Working together, diplomats from Canada and Germany have put together the plan which calls for increasing investments from financial institutions like the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
For the plans to succeed the US needs to significantly increase its commitments to development finance. Earlier this year, the Biden Administration pledged to do just that, committing to finance $11.4 billion in climate aid annually (that commitment is dependent on approval by Congress).
Developed nations haven’t been sitting on their hands in the intervening years since they first made their pledge, but funding is still far short of where it should be.
Contributions from developed nations totaled $80 billion in climate finance to developing countries in 2019, up from $78 billion in 2018, according to a report in Nature.
According to that report, much of the money went to mitigation efforts and not enough was spent helping poorer countries adapt to a changing climate that disproportionately impacts them.
As the money gets disbursed, the plan is for developed countries to offer more grants than loans or other financial mechanisms to the poorest countries that are most at risk from the effects of climate change, the report said.
“It is critically important for developing countries to be able to trust that the developed world will make good on its promises, starting with the $100 billion climate finance goal. Earlier this year, Canada doubled its climate finance commitment,” said said Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “While more work needs to be done, I hope that today’s report can instill confidence and trust that developed countries will deliver on their promises to the developing world.”
To ensure that countries can access the funds they need, even if they don’t have infrastructure, countries are sending financial professionals around the world to help monitor and manage resources. These professionals are coming from initiatives like the NDC Partnership, the Rocky Mountain Institute Climate Finance Access Network, and the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance.
The plan also calls for more direct funding to the funding mechanisms directly tied to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“Scaling up climate finance has been one of my top priorities as COP President. This plan recognises progress, based on strong new climate finance commitments,” said Sharma in a statement. “There is still further to go, but this Delivery Plan, alongside the robust methodological report from the OECD, provides clarity, transparency and accountability. It is a step towards rebuilding trust and gives developing countries more assurance of predictable support.”