$100 bln climate finance goal ‘a very small amount, says Christiana Figueres

$100 bln climate finance goal ‘a very small amount, says Christiana Figueres

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Report and Photograph: Saleem Shaikh

LIMA, Peru: An international target of extending US $100 billion every year by 2020 to support climate vulnerable countries adapt to changing climate impacts and achieve green growth seems remote what is required to achieve a global clean revolution, said Christiana Figueres, the U.N.’s top climate change official.

Christiana Figueres on Wednesday told media at U.N. climate talks here that in terms of paying for the endeavours needed to shift economies worldwide onto a low-carbon track “$100 billion is frankly a very, very small amount”.

We are talking here about trillions of dollars which need to pour into the transformation at a world level, she underlined.

Climate finance is in the spotlight at the two-week global climate talks, as developing countries build up pressure for more clarity on how to take funding up to the $100 billion level governments committed to back in 2009. Finance is seen as key to building trust between richer and poorer nations at the talks.

US$ 90 trillion would be invested in infrastructure over the next 15 years, Figueres said.

It is high time the world needs to take decision that weather are those $90 trillion going to go into clean technology, infrastructure and resilient infrastructure, or is it going to go into the technologies and infrastructure of the last century?, she stressed.

A voluntary accord agreed at the 2009 Copenhagen summit said the money should come from a wide range of sources, including public and private funds, bilateral and multilateral funds and other alternative sources of finance.

What has been the problem  till today is that there has been poor understanding of how much funding is coming in, what kind, and from where to where. That has proved a roadblock to progress on chalking out a clear pathway to ramping it up.

According to Reuters, the United Nations climate change secretariat presented a report on Wednesday aimed at throwing some light on the money that has already been provided.

The assessment report – the first putting together information and data on financial flows for emission reductions and adaptation within countries as well as via international support – said public and private flows from developed to developing countries ranged from $40 to $175 billion a year between 2010 and 2012.

This included annual flows of $35-50 billion through public institutions, and $5-$125 billion of private finance, it said.

Those numbers indicate the world may not be as far off track in meeting the $100 billion goal as previously thought.

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About author

Saleem Shaikh

saleemzeal@gmail.com

The writer is a guest speaker on climate change and disaster reporting at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) – Islamabad. He is also a media trainer, freelance climate change and development science writer.