Rich nations ‘to miss US$100b climate fund goal even by 2025’

The sun sets behind wind turbines near the small village of Briesensee in Brandenburg, eastern Germany, at the end of a warm summer day on Aug 14, 2021. (CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP)

Developed countries’ pledges to provide US$100 billion of annual financing, made over a decade ago and seen as key to unlocking upcoming climate talks, are unlikely to be met even five years after the target, according to a new report. 

That not only threatens the success at the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow starting in weeks, but also the aim of limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius as part of the Paris Agreement, Oxfam International said in a study.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) last week showed that the pace of boosting the funding slowed further in 2019, growing just 2 percent to US$79.6 billion from 2018

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“Wealthy nations must live up to their promise made 12 years ago and put their money where their mouths are,” said Nafkote Dabi, global climate policy lead for Oxfam. “It is clearly a question of political will.”

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) last week showed that the pace of boosting the funding slowed further in 2019, growing just 2 percent to US$79.6 billion from 2018. Data wasn’t available for 2020, by when the US$100 billion annual rate was to be achieved, but the economic damage wreaked by the pandemic means that target was likely missed.

Developing nations say the funding is key for them to pledge deeper emissions cuts. While US climate envoy John Kerry has been criss-crossing the globe in recent weeks, seeking to garner enough support to make COP26 that starts Oct 31 a success, the financing crunch could turn out to be a hurdle. 

Oxfam also raised concerns about how the financing will be disbursed to developing nations. Over two-thirds will be in the form of loans, which would put the countries into further debt.

The US is widely seen as having the biggest funding shortfall, in part because former US President Donald Trump pulled the world’s richest polluter out of the Paris deal. Oxfam said France, Australia and Japan have failed to increase their financing for poorer nations.

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