PARIS: Wealthy countries last year likely met their goal of providing $100 billion in annual climate finance to poorer countries – two years later than promised and just a fraction of “vast needs”, the OECD said on Thursday.
The OECD report comes ahead of the COP28 UN climate change talks later this month in Dubai, where finance will be a major issue.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is tasked with monitoring official figures on pledges to help developing countries finance their energy transitions and resilience to accelerating climate impacts.
In 2009, wealthier countries pledged to reach $100 billion in funding for these priorities by 2020.
Failure to meet the target on time has damaged confidence in international climate negotiations.
According to the latest figures, the OECD said richer countries had reached $89.6 billion in total financing for 2021.
“On the basis of preliminary and as yet unverified data, it appears that the target will probably already be reached in 2022,” OECD Secretary General Mathias Cormann said in the foreword to the latest report.
But he added that experts estimate that developing countries will need to spend about $1 trillion a year on climate investment by 2025, rising to about $2.4 trillion each year between 2026 and 2030. “While public finance can only contribute a fraction of these extensive needs,” Cormann said international donors will be key in helping to increase overall funding. He said that current funding from rich countries is not effective enough in attracting additional private sector investment and funding. Finance focused on the adaptation that countries need to undertake to prepare for a range of increasing climate impacts is also lagging behind, he said. Adaptation measures may include building coastal defenses or helping farmers become more resilient to increasingly severe floods, droughts and other climate extremes.
Many of the developing economies least blamed for the greenhouse gases that drive global warming are among the most exposed to the costly and devastating effects of worsening extreme weather and rising seas. World leaders meeting for climate talks in the United Arab Emirates will face a tough reckoning over financial solidarity between rich polluters and vulnerable nations, as failure to cut planet-warming emissions threatens global warming limits set by the Paris Agreement.
Adaptation is a key priority for developing countries, and rich governments have pledged to double adaptation financing to $40 billion a year by 2025.
But as the world warms, the impacts of climate change are increasing, and so are the costs of preparing for them.
Earlier this month, a report by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) announced that the total annual funding that developing countries need to adapt to climate impacts this decade has risen to as much as $387 billion.
At the time, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that action was “stalling” even as the need to protect people grew.
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