Energy & Environment

Climate summit president: Developed countries will ‘likely’ commit more than $500 billion in climate finance

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The president of the COP26 international climate summit, Alook Sharma, sounded an optimistic note on climate finance goals on the summit’s third day Wednesday, while the conference’s executive secretary stressed the need for meaningful follow-through.

“On the basis of information submitted by donors, the [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] analysis shows that developed countries will make significant progress toward the hundred-billion-dollar goal in 2022. … Over the five-year period from 2021 to 2025, we will likely be above $500 billion in aggregate,” Sharma said.

Sharma also said he was “very pleased” that the U.K. has doubled its own climate finance commitment to 11.6 billion pounds and announced a further billion pound commitment.

“It’s encouraging that developed countries have stepped up in recent months and indeed, even recent days,” he said. “I hope through negotiations and more broadly, we will continue to increase the focus on adaptation and access to finance, which matters a great deal to climate-vulnerable countries.”

Sharma added that he was “cautiously optimistic” about progress on ongoing international climate negotiations.

In her own remarks, COP26 Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa quoted statements made by U.S. Climate Finance Envoy Mark Carney earlier Wednesday morning: “Make no mistake, the money is here, if the world wants to use it.”

Espinosa also noted a multibillion-dollar commitment, valued at a total of $8.5 billion, made by developed nations to aid South Africa in transitioning away from coal.

“I do hope that by the end of this conference, we can really get to all of the hundred billion” commitment by 2022, she added.

Espinosa emphasized all of the commitments would also need to be reflected in outcomes, however. “We also need to see how we are getting from these announcements to the mobilization of the trillions that are required,” she said.

Sharma sounded a similar note in a statement, saying, “[T]o meet the commitments made in the Paris Agreement and keep 1.5 alive, we need developed countries to deliver on public finance, and to unleash the trillions required in private investment to create a net zero future and protect lives and livelihoods from the devastating effects of climate change.”

The summit, taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, is set to conclude Nov. 12.

Tags Alook Sharma Climate change COP26 Patricia Espinosa United Nations Climate Change Conference

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