Success of climate change talks rests on finance, UN chief says

(EurActiv, 25 Jun 2021) The success of international climate negotiations in November will depend on a breakthrough in financial contributions from rich countries, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday (24 June).

With less than five months to go until the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, there are increasing tensions around climate finance – money rich countries have pledged to transfer to poorer countries to ensure they can both cut emissions and adapt to a hotter planet.

Rich countries have likely missed a 2009 commitment to jointly transfer $100 billion each year by 2020 to help poorer nations, with support falling particularly short on measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change like severe storms and rising seas. Wealthy countries contributed nearly $80 billion in 2018.

Guterres said trust needed to be rebuilt between developed and developing countries, by making good on the promise.

“This is not a symbolic pledge, but a vital commitment. We can only ask for more ambition if we provide additional support,” he said in a speech to the European Parliament.

The COP26 summit will attempt to persuade countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster, and agree on contentious rules for putting the Paris Agreement into practice.

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EurActiv, 25 Jun 2021: Success of climate change talks rests on finance, UN chief says