German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks at the start of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue (Petersberger Klimadialog), a conference that focuses on laying the groundwork for the COP28 Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates, on May 2, 2023 at the Foreign Office in Berlin. (PHOTO / AFP)
BERLIN – Wealthy nations are on track this year to meet their overdue $100-billion climate finance pledge to developing countries, three years later than promised, Germany's foreign minister Annalena Baerbock said on Tuesday.
The $100 billion falls far short of poor nations' actual needs, but has become symbolic of wealthy countries' failure to deliver promised climate funds
Baerbock said donor countries met on Monday to discuss progress towards their pledge, made back in 2009, to transfer $100 billion per year from 2020 to vulnerable states hit by increasingly severe climate change impacts.
"The good news is that it looks like we are on track to finally reach the sum of $100 billion this year," she told a meeting of more than 40 county representatives to discuss efforts to tackle climate change in Berlin.
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The $100 billion falls far short of poor nations' actual needs, but has become symbolic of wealthy countries' failure to deliver promised climate funds. Failure to meet it has fuelled mistrust in climate negotiations between countries to attempt to boost CO2-cutting measures.
The United Arab Emirates' president-designate of this year's UN climate talks said the funding delays were holding up progress in addressing climate change.
"Expectations are high. Trust is low," Sultan al-Jaber said, adding that the real value of the $100 billion had eroded since the pledge was first made in 2009.
Developing economies say they cannot afford to cut CO2 emissions without more support from the rich nations responsible for most of the greenhouse gases heating the planet.
Wealthy countries provided $83.3 billion in 2020 – falling $16.7 billion short of the target, according to the latest available OECD data. The OECD and wealthy countries had previously indicated the goal could be met this year.
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"It is frankly an embarrassment that it hasn't been possible to mobilize this money yet – especially taking into consideration that really, when being honest, we need trillions," Dan Jorgensen, Denmark's minister for global climate policy and development, told Reuters.
Jorgensen, who said Denmark had provided more than its fair share of the $100 billion total in recent years, said finally meeting the goal could unlock progress in other areas of climate negotiations this year.