Britain drafts COP26 plan to make sure promised climate cash arrives

FILE PHOTO: COP26 in Glasgow
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 10, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

November 13, 2021

By Kate Abnett and Valerie Volcovici

GLASGOW (Reuters) -The British hosts of the COP26 U.N. climate talks published a proposal on Saturday to make sure rich countries deliver climate finance to the world’s poorest nations in future years, after past promises remain unfulfilled.

Finance has proved one of the toughest issues https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/climate-finance-could-make-or-break-cop26-summit-heres-why-2021-11-01 to solve at the meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rich nations, whose emissions are responsible for the majority of human-caused climate change, failed to meet a long-held promise to deliver $100 billion a year by 2020 to support poorer countries’ efforts https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/that-sinking-feeling-poor-nations-struggle-with-un-climate-fund-2021-11-11 to cope with the effects of global warming.

That has cast a shadow over the summit, making other negotiations on carbon markets and strengthening climate targets harder to unblock, with some poorer nations saying they cannot cut emissions faster unless they get more financial help.

The draft proposal, one of many drawn up by Britain to be published at the end of COP26, asks a U.N. committee to report next year on progress towards delivering the $100 billion, and proposes government ministers meet in 2022, 2024 and 2026 to discuss climate finance.

The regular check-ins would attempt to keep up pressure on rich countries to fulfil promises to mobilise the cash. The British proposal also asks countries to increase their contributions to deliver the $100 billion.

The draft needs approval from the nearly 200 countries represented at the summit.

Rich countries expect to deliver the $100 billion in 2023, although some have suggested it could be met next year.

The European Union and Italy were drawing up a last-minute proposal on Friday that would use special drawing rights to help make sure the target is met next year, an EU official said.

A second draft document published on Saturday would kick off talks among countries to set a post-2025 target on climate finance. The $100 billion target should be delivered each year from 2020 to 2025, after which a new one is supposed to kick in.

The second proposal asks countries, civil society groups and the private sector to weigh in next year on the new goal, and would launch a work programme to develop the post-2025 target, led by a developed country and a developing country, from 2022-2024.

African countries have said the new goal should reach $1.3 trillion by 2030 to reflect the spiralling costs of worsening droughts, floods and other climate-related disasters in the world’s poorest nations.

The $100 billion pledge is far below the actual needs of vulnerable countries, which could hit $300 billion per year by 2030 for them to adapt to climate impacts alone, according to the United Nations.

That is aside from potential economic losses from crop failure or climate-related disasters.

(Reporting by Kate Abnett and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Frances Kerry and Jan Harvey)