Rich countries set to fail in providing $100bn climate finance in 2022 again, report says

·3-min read

Rich countries such as the US and UK will fall short of their pledged climate finance commitment to poorer states once again this year, according to new research.

They have continued to fail on their annual $100bn (£864bn) commitment that was pledged to poor countries to deal with worsening impacts of the climate crisis.

Analysis by the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance published on Relief Web earlier this week showed “stark discrepancies between climate finance pledges by higher-income countries and what is being delivered”.

The countries had promised annual financial assistance to poor countries in 2009’s Cop15 summit in Copenhagen to mitigate or reduce the impacts of the climate crisis and adapt to changes.

But so far, they have miserably failed to get anywhere near that figure in the last few years. The research, based on funds mobilised so far, found rich nations “look likely to do so again in 2022”.

The new analysis also put a renewed spotlight on countries like the US for ignoring their responsibility and tries to break down which countries have the most burden.

It allocated responsibility for the $100bn goal among developed countries according to their share of their historical emissions and gross national income.

While terms like “Global North” and “rich countries” have been used to refer to highly industrialised countries that have the greatest chunk of carbon emissions, there has not been a clear metric system for establishing the financial responsibility of these countries, something the current study claims to have done.

The research showed the US is “overwhelmingly responsible” for the climate finance gap. The country provided a meagre 5 per cent of its fair share in 2020. Although its economy is 40 per cent larger than the European Union’s, it provided only a twelfth of the climate finance than the bloc.

Meanwhile, the UK, which presided over the Cop26 summit last year, provided just half of its fair share in 2020 and will only creep up to two-thirds of its share by 2025.

Countries like Australia, Canada, Italy and Spain have also fallen well short, showed the research.

Australia provided just 23 per cent and Canada a mere 18 per cent of their fair shares respectively. Both countries have not pledged to meaningfully increase their climate finance provisions by 2025.

But seven higher-income countries have given their fair share in 2020 and pledged their full amounts up to 2025. These countries are Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, France and Japan.

Earlier data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showed only $83bn of the promised $100bn was mobilised by the global north in 2020.

These figures though remain highly unreliable because a large part of the money mobilised comes as loans instead of grants.

Climate finance remains one of the most contentious issues in international negotiations as lower- and middle-income countries continue to face the worst impacts of global warming created by emissions from industrialised nations.

The amount agreed by rich countries is already considered to be minuscule in comparison to the huge losses borne by poor countries from extreme weather.

With the incremental nature of such events, poor countries are demanding widening the climate finance goals at the Cop27 summit, as well as setting up a fund for loss and damage, a term used to refer to losses that can’t be mitigated or adapted to.