Developing Countries Push Ahead on Climate Finance as Donor Countries Dither
Rather than waiting for the US$100 billion per year in climate financing that rich countries promised to deliver beginning in 2020, frustrated developing countries are beginning to assemble their own dollars to fund urgent climate action, ClimateHome reports this week.
“While climate change still hits developing countries hard, some of these countries are already taking action,” said African civil society representative Julius Mbatia, who took part in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) board meeting in Songdo, South Korea this week. “They are setting up policy systems to facilitate local finance mobilization for sustainable climate financing,” and “some developing countries are already setting aside a percentage of budgetary allocations for climate actions.”
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Not that developing countries will stop lobbying the countries that have benefited the most from the fossil fuel era to meet their obligations under the Paris agreement. But with only $10.13 billion raised so far, and Donald Trump backing away from the U.S. contribution to the GCF, countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Bangladesh are necessarily taking matters into their own hands.
“Country finance mobilization will obviously make a difference. But this does not replace the reality and principle of the [United Nation climate] convention, upheld in the Paris agreement, that developed countries should provide financial support to developing countries to meet the huge cost of adaptation actions,” Mbatia told ClimateHome.
Anoop Poonia, policy coordinator for financial flows at Climate Action Network International, noted that donor countries with wealth and expertise to share have made their support conditional, “preferring to encourage investment from the private sector, rather than stumping up their own cash,” ClimateHome notes. “In reality, many climate-vulnerable countries still lack capacity to attract or absorb private finance and rely heavily on aid to meet their basic needs.”
Poonia noted that developing countries will still need at least $35 billion per year in grants to address climate change, beginning in 2020.