By: Ruth Douglas
Civil society groups are rallying behind calls for an “Emergency Pact” for the delivery of climate finance and raising of ambitions on adaptation as COP26 negotiators scramble to wrap up a final agreement at the summit.
A research paper by the charity Care International published this week found that only six per cent of climate finance can be considered “additional” to the 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income promised annually by developed countries for overseas development aid.
And a report by the UN Environment Programme found that estimated adaptation costs in developing countries are five to ten times greater than the current available public adaptation finance.
The issue of climate finance has been upmost among the concerns of developing nations and appears to be a sticking point as negotiators thrash out the detail of a final agreement expected later Friday.
British MP Alok Sharma, president of the UK-hosted climate summit, said Thursday that he was “concerned at the number of issues outstanding on finance items the day before we are due to conclude” and urged delegates to reach a consensus on the issue.
‘Keep 1.5 alive’
More than 650 civil society groups and individuals have signed an open letter to delegation heads calling for the adoption of the Glasgow Emergency Pact to reignite the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“Glasgow needs to deliver an 'Emergency Pact' to restore confidence in international climate cooperation for keeping 1.5C alive, to accelerate adaptation, address mounting loss and damage, and ensure promised finance is delivered,” said Abul Kalam Azad, Bangladesh’s special envoy for the 55-nation Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), which advocates for countries in the global South most at risk from the impacts of climate change.
The pact calls for developed countries to come up with a delivery plan for the US$500 billion promised between 2020 and 2024. Wealthy nations pledged $100 billion a year from 2020 at the 2009 Copenhagen summit to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change, but the funding remains elusive.
The statement also calls on all countries to make new ambition announcements that exceed their current Nationally Determined Contributions targets – including political commitments on mitigation and adaptation – at every subsequent COP.
There were some positive signs of commitment to adaptation this week with the World Resources Institute announcing that 40 countries were now members of the Adaptation Action Coalition, aimed at boosting climate resilience. Vietnam and Mozambique have become the newest members, it said.
Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said there had been more than 400 extreme weather events affecting the lives of 140 million people since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic alone.
“Adaptation is a key part of the localisation agenda: empowering local actors means empowering local communities to adapt to the humanitarian consequences of the climate crisis,” he said.
Scottish hosts step up
Meanwhile, Scotland was the only government to pledge finance for “loss and damage”, the irreversible impacts of climate change, at the UN summit in Glasgow this week, doubling its commitment to £2 million.
The pledge prompted a slew of calls from advocacy organisations for other developed nations to follow suite.
Saleemul Huq, director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development, said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was the “true leader who is putting money on the table for loss and damage”.
“The US is giving us zero dollars. Europe is giving us zero Euros,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.
Scotland also announced Thursday that it would increase its fund for climate justice by a further 50 per cent to £36 million, on top of a previous commitment to double the fund, and urged other governments to do their part to bridge the finance gap.
Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “This announcement from the First Minister has hugely raised the stakes as the COP26 talks enter their final few hours, sending a powerful message to the leaders of other rich nations that it’s simply unconscionable to leave poor countries picking up the tab for a climate crisis they did least to cause.”
Source: SciDev.Net Plus: