One of the most pressing challenges facing countries heading into the post-covid world is the erratic climate changes taking place across the globe. The impacts associated with the climate emergency are severe and growing. All over the world, people are experiencing the adversity of climate change in one form or another, whether it is floods, heat waves, droughts in some areas or forest fires, storms. , among others.
Developing and vulnerable countries are indeed the most affected by the misadventures of climate change. Global temperatures are currently at least 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels. According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Bahamas were the most affected by the impacts of extreme weather events in 2019. âIndiaâ ranks seventh among the countries most affected by the phenomena extreme weather.
What developing and vulnerable countries need is help and support from the developed world to cope with the ever-changing facets of the climate and to adapt and mitigate the adversities that result from them.
In 2015, developed countries pledged to jointly mobilize US $ 100 billion per year by 2020 and until 2025, to meet the needs of developing countries in the context of mitigation and adaptation actions. significant. This led to the adoption of the cult Paris Agreement.
In this regard, developed countries clarified that funding would come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of funding. The climate finance target was then officially recognized by the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC at COP16 in Cancun. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a key channel for the provision of climate finance and support for mitigation and adaptation actions in pursuit of the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
However, there are persistent shortcomings in the fulfillment of this commitment by developed countries. These include the postponement of the target date per year from 2020 to 2025, the lack of transparency in reporting, the lack of clarity on funding from public sources which is new and additional, the preponderance of loans over grants, lack of financial data and biased focus on mitigation versus adaptation.
There is no clear-cut definition of what climate finance really represents. While developed countries also wish to consider private finance, developing countries strongly believe that the fundamental parameters of climate finance according to the UNFCCC must be new and additional climate specific finance, with an emphasis on elements of climate change. subsidy and public finances.
Developing countries like India face a myriad of development challenges and the Indian government has been steadfast in its attempts to achieve economic and social development goals. The insufficient flow of climate finance is also one of the challenges that India has consistently pointed out in international conferences.
India’s climate finance needs stem from both mitigation and adaptation. However, as developed countries have delayed climate actions to reduce GHG emissions and constantly increase the impact of global warming and therefore the need for climate adaptation. This, in turn, is constantly adding to India’s already considerable adaptation burden. In addition, the climate finance available internationally for India remains geared towards mitigation rather than adaptation.
India is doing its part to meet the promised adaptation and mitigation measures. However, finance still remains the critical issue as India ramps up its targets mainly by relying on domestic fiscal resources.
Recently, at COP 26, India announced that it would become carbon neutral by 2070. According to a study by “CEEW”, India would need total investments of more than 10,100 billion dollars to achieve net zero emissions by 2070. Most of this amount would be needed to lift the power sector out of its dependence on coal. These investments would help decarbonise India’s electricity, industry and transport sectors.
Also in one of the big announcements of COP 26, the African Group of Negotiators and a group of 24 developing countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam, called on donor countries to mobilize at least $ 1.3 trillion per year by 2030. However, this demand has not diminished well with developed countries so far showing resistance to the new financial target .
In short, climate change is a global common good and is everyone’s responsibility. Most countries are not contributing their fair share of climate finance. Countries need to improve the quality and speed with which they provide climate finance. Developing countries need more financing in the form of grants and adaptation and not loans which in effect will be repaid with interest as well.
Obviously, we are a long way from meeting the climate finance targets as promised. So that the ambitions are high; finance must be an integral part of it. Only then can climate justice be delivered to vulnerable countries.