World needs 'trillions' for climate action: COP28 – World

PARIS: The world needs “trillions” of dollars to boost the green transition and fight global warming, the leader of last year's COP28 climate talks said on Tuesday, warning that political momentum could evaporate without clear action.

COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber hailed the progress made at last year's UN talks in Dubai, where countries agreed to triple global renewable energy capacity this decade and “move away” from polluting fossil fuels.

But the deal lacked important details, including funding, putting the onus on this year's COP29 meeting in Azerbaijan. With the impacts accelerating as global heat records are broken, experts say the funding agreed this year will also play an important role in encouraging governments to tighten their decarbonisation targets.

Jaber said finance was “a key enabler of positive change at the necessary speed and scale”.

“But not conventional scale funding – we need funding at all levels,” he said at an event in Paris organized by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Countries are expected to set a new target this year for the amount of annual support rich countries will provide to poorer ones for their energy transitions and climate adaptation from 2025.

The inability of rich countries to meet their previous target of $100 billion a year by 2020 has dented confidence, with indications that the target will likely not be reached until 2022.

The needs already far exceed the available money. A UN-backed panel on climate finance has estimated that emerging economies, excluding China, will need to spend about $2.4 trillion a year by the end of the decade.

“The world must now raise the bar to meet the challenge we face,” Jaber said.

“We need to start thinking trillions, not billions.”

Recognizing the scale of support needed, the focus has been on expanding funding sources.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are under pressure to launch sweeping reforms to bring their lending into line with the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Other initiatives under discussion include new taxation, particularly of polluting industries, and a shift in fossil fuel subsidies to green development.

Elvira Parkinson

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