Rich countries close in on $100B pledge for international climate finance

(The Energy Mix, 11 Mar 2022) Rich countries may finally be on the verge of keeping their promise to deliver US$100 billion per year in international climate finance, but only by relying on private investment that isn’t well suited to some of the most urgent needs where people are most vulnerable to climate impacts.

At an informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council Thursday, United States climate envoy John Kerry said the world’s wealthiest nations are poised to fulfill a pledge that goes back to the 2009 UN climate conference in Copenhagen—and was supposed to be met by 2020. Last year, those nations stood accused of a “breathtaking” lack of commitment after an effort by then-Canadian environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson and his counterpart from Germany, Jochen Flasbarth, fell short of the $100-billion threshold.

“This lack of ambition is breathtaking,” and “it is the people living on the front line of the climate emergency who will bear the brunt,” Fionna Smyth, head of global policy and advocacy at London, U.K.-based Christian Aid, said at the time. “It is over a decade since the world’s richer countries agreed to $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020. It was already a drop in the ocean, yet still the target has been missed and is now set to be watered down.”

Under the Climate Finance Delivery Plan [pdf] that Wilkinson and Flasbarth brokered on behalf of COP 26 President Alok Sharma, the target year to make good on the pledge was postponed to 2023. Because of epic delays and limited transparency in international climate finance reporting, countries won’t be able to verify the 2023 figure until 2025.

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The Energy Mix, 11 Mar 2022: Rich countries close in on $100B pledge for international climate finance