G20 ministers must step up climate finance in solidarity with vulnerable countries

Commentary: As environment ministers of Costa Rica and Grenada, we call on the G20 to give our countries a fair chance at a resilient recovery from Covid

Trust and solidarity are the fuel of successful diplomacy. As ministers responsible for the environment in Costa Rica and Grenada respectively, we urge the G20 finance ministers meeting in Venice this week to develop a roadmap to dramatically increase climate finance and give our countries a chance. equitable for a resilient future.

Not only is this plan vital to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the lives of millions of people living on the front lines of the climate crisis, it is also essential to pave the way for a positive outcome for all in the world. Cop26 in Glasgow later this year. .

The ambitious elements of the Paris Agreement – the 1.5 ° C temperature target and the global net zero emissions trajectory by the second half of the century – would have been impossible without the solidarity and recognition that the climate ambition benefits us all.

The High Ambition Coalition (HAC), of which we are both members, met discreetly, without fanfare, in the months leading up to Cop21 in Paris. Confidence has been established between ministers from developing and developed countries in countless meetings, nurtured by former Marshall Foreign Minister Tony de Brum. When a surge of ambition was needed, the foundation for trust had been established. Without this spirit of solidarity, the push for a 1.5 ° C limit would not benefit from the near global support it has obtained to date.

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This spirit of solidarity and partnership is once again necessary, illustrated by actions aimed at avoiding a gap between the funding promised and the funding actually mobilized. This means working together to meet and exceed the annual climate finance target of $ 100 billion from 2020 to 2025. Countries that have kept their commitments should not consider their work accomplished, but continue to hold their feet on fire. those who haven’t. , and encourage all who are in a position to do so to keep their commitments. More efforts are needed to mobilize funding from public and private sources.

In particular, more financing for adaptation is urgently needed. The impacts of climate change are felt everywhere, but the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are hit hardest and have the fewest resources to deal with them. They answer ; most are working on national plans to adapt to climate change and build resilience to its effects, but more is urgently needed. The latest OECD report on climate finance mobilized for climate action in developing countries between 2013 and 2019 indicates that less than 30% went towards adaptation. This is far from the 50% that the UN Secretary General and others have called for, and this imbalance needs to be urgently corrected.

At the same time, innovative forms of financing adaptation must be sought. An important source of adaptation funding could come from a dedicated share of revenues from international emissions trading under the Paris Agreement. However, this can only happen if the environmental integrity of this system ensures a high demand for its units. For this reason, our two governments, as well as many other members of the HAC, are committed to Principles of San José for great ambition and integrity in international carbon markets. We call on other countries to join this initiative.

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The developing world is also facing the climate crisis with one hand behind its back, bound by a debt burden that Covid-19 has exacerbated. In 2020, five countries defaulted on their sovereign debt. The United Nations Development Program has identified 72 countries as vulnerable, and 19 of them severely. It is not only an economic issue, but also a climatic one: high debt is a precarious base on which to build a resilient and carbon-free economy.

Ultimately, the global financial system needs a green push. All parties agreed in the Paris Agreement to “make financial flows consistent with a path to low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development”. Aligning the spending of multilateral development banks with the Paris Agreement is crucial in this regard. It also means that we need to push the private sector to increase investment in green solutions, phase out fossil fuel subsidies and explore public-private partnerships that can contribute to a green economy. It is crucial to provide financial markets with clear policy direction and comprehensive, high-quality information on the impacts of climate change.

G20 financial leaders are meeting this week, and again in October, ahead of Cop26 in November. Now is the time to develop a climate finance action plan and demonstrate the solidarity that will be essential to success in Glasgow – and to build a more equitable and resilient post-pandemic economy for all.

Andrea Meza Murillo is the Minister of Energy and the Environment of Costa Rica. Simon Stiell is Grenada’s Minister of Climate Resilience.


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