Wealthy nations are expected to fall by 75 billion dollars short of fulfilling their long standing pledge to mobilise 100 billion dollars each year from 2020 to 2025 to help the most vulnerable countries adapt to the dangerous effects of climate change and reduce emissions, said an Oxfam estimate on September 20.
The analysis gains significance as informal climate talks between world leaders at the UN General Assembly takes place. The talks are held ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow in November. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) last week released new data showing that developed countries provided only around 80 billion dollars in climate finance in 2019.
DROP IN SPENDING
The Oxfam, which calculated the current pledges and plans, estimates that wealthy nations will continue to miss the 100 billion dollars goal and reach only 93 billion dollars to 95 billion dollars per year by 2025, five years after the goal should have been met. The organisation said that this meant that climate-vulnerable countries would miss out between 68 billion dollars and 75 billion dollars in total over the six-year target period. The analysis that hot and cold temperatures are estimated to kill five million people every year, that accounts for more than nine per cent of human deaths the world over. This is also expected to increase as heat related deaths rise due to climate change.
It also noted that climate change could trigger economic losses double that of the pandemic. In 2020, the EU, UK, US, Canada, Australia and Japan spent more than 15 trillion dollars on COVID-19 fiscal recovery packages. This was equivalent to meeting the climate finance goal 151 times over. At the same time, total global military spending rose by 2.6 percent since 2019 to just under two trillion dollars which was nearly 20 times more than the climate finance goal.
Some countries, including the US, Canada and Germany increased their pledges in recent months to narrow the gap. However, France, Australia and Japan failed to increase their contributions above current levels. Several countries, including Italy, Spain and the Netherlands made no new climate finance pledges.
Oxfam said that they estimated only about a quarter -26 billion dollars to 27 billion dollars – of total climate finance in 2025 will be spent helping developing countries build resilience and adapt to worsening climate impacts. Climate finance is one of the three key pillars of the Paris Agreement and vital to global efforts to tackle the climate crisis and its impacts.
The year 2020 is tipped to be the hottest year on record, with 98.4 million people affected by floods, storms and other climate-related disasters and caused economic losses of at least 171 billion dollars. Oxfam noted that transitioning to clean energy and adapting to climate change impacts for developing countries can not happen without this support. Many countries are already forced to spend large amounts of their public finances on combating climate change. The analysis noted that Poor families in rural Bangladesh spend nearly billion dollars a year on preventing climate-related disasters or repairing the damage caused by them – twice as much as the government and over 12 times more than Bangladesh receives in multilateral international climate financing. The average person in Bangladesh produces 24 times less CO2 than the average person in the US. Due to rising temperatures, Madagascar is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years. More than one million people in the Grand Sud region are food insecure. Madagascar contributed 0.01 per cent of all the carbon dioxide generated from 1933-2019.
Oxfam International’s Global Climate Policy Lead Nafkote Dabi said: “The pandemic has shown that countries can swiftly mobilize trillions of dollars to respond to an emergency – it is clearly a question of political will. Let’s be clear we are in a climate emergency. It is wreaking havoc across the globe and requires the same decisiveness and urgency. Millions of people from Senegal to Guatemala have already lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones because of turbo-charged storms and chronic droughts, caused by a climate crisis. Wealthy nations must live up to their promise made twelve years ago and put their money where their mouths are. We need to see real funding increases now.