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Countries fail to meet their climate funding goal; pressure grows ahead of COP28

Despite an aim to reach $10 billion in climate funding via the United Nations’ fund, there is a shortage two months ahead of COP28.

Countries fail to meet their climate funding goal; pressure grows ahead of COP28
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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The issue of climate funding is set to dominate at the COP28 climate summit, which begins in November in Dubai. There’s a plan to launch a new international fund supporting vulnerable nations where climate change is causing irreversible damage. 

At the Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance, which took place at Abu Dhabi Global Market in August, Al Jaber said, “Climate finance has divided the international community and held back progress in tackling climate change and supporting countries most impacted by it,” said Al Jaber, “But climate finance is the issue that lies at the core of the COP28 agenda because finance is how we transform goals into reality.”

Now, ahead of the climate summit, the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), the main fund working to aid under-developed and developing nations in coping with the effects of climate change, noted that it had raised $9.3 billion, which falls short of the $10 billion target set, according to Reuters. 

This comes as countries, including the US and China, the world’s top two polluters, have failed to pay their dues to the fund. 

As per an estimate in a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change report, the amount collected represents just a fraction of the $200 billion – $250 billion needed by developing countries annually by 2030. 

With COP28 less than two months away, pressure is building up to make ends meet via wealthy governments in helping developing countries prepare and deal with climate change ramifications. 

During a climate conference in Bonn, a number of nations added their parts in cash to the GCF, such as Japan’s contribution of $1.11 billion between 2024 and 2027 and Norway’s donation of around $300 million.

“I also increasingly see countries that are not traditional donors as having responsibility: for example the Gulf states, which have become rich from fossil fuels, or emerging countries like China,” said German Development Minister Svenja Schulze at the conference.

A representative of the US said that the country was not in a position to pledge due to uncertainty in its domestic budget process. Even China has not yet agreed to provide the GCF financial support.

Mahmoud Mohieldin, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund and GCF’s facilitator, expects the top-up to comfortably surpass the last contribution round once the countries that promised funds announce their pledges. “If these countries came with what is expected and some of what they contributed last time with a slight increase, we’ll be in that safe zone,” Mohieldin told Reuters.

COP28’s President-Designate, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, has announced that climate finance is one of the four main pillars, stressing countries’ importance in coming together and providing funding.  

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