Developed nations’ commitment to climate change financing still lagging

world leaders hear at 77th session of UNGA

His Excellency, Dr Irfaan Ali has again urged the nearly 200 high-income countries that committed to helping developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change through funding, to honour their commitment.

Back in 2009, the world leaders had pledged to mobilise US$100 billion every year to support low and middle-income countries in tackling climate change. This commitment was reaffirmed in 2015, with the aim of providing financing in full by 2020, sustaining it through 2025.

Addressing leaders at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, Dr Ali said developed nations ‘are falling far behind.’

“The paltry $100 billion pledge (and the failure to meet it) must be viewed in the context of the likely costs of climate action for mitigation, adaptation and addressing loss and damage. It is not enough!” he explained.

H.E. Dr Mohamed Ifraan Ali

The president said the costs of adaptation will most likely be higher than the predicted range of US$140 to US$300 billion annually by 2030 and US$280 to US$ 500 billion annually by 2050 for developing nations. 

Advocating for those countries, especially in the Caribbean, Dr Ali suggested that the UN revisit climate decisions that put these countries at economic risks.

The president also reminded the UN General Assembly that despite the $79.6 billion commitment in 2019, to developing countries for planning and adaptation to the effects of climate change – the chasm is widening exponentially.

“The gap between predicted adaptation costs and existing public adaptation financial flows is generally growing and ranges from five to ten times more,” he pointed out.

Broad rules adaptation for carbon markets at COP26 provide the possibility for forest rich countries to unlock critical resources, the President underscored.

“Forested countries, like Guyana, can potentially earn billions of dollars accessible through the voluntary carbon markets. However, the current approximate price is US$10 per tonne on the voluntary market – Whilst according to an IMF Report, the price should be closer to US$70 per tonne. COP27 must make progress in refining the rules for the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and make decisions that would increase the price of carbon traded in voluntary carbon markets,” President Ali said.

COP26 is an agreement by countries to use carbon trading mechanism as funding that will support adaptation efforts to combat the effects of climate change. Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030 will create a new low-carbon economy by establishing incentives which value the world’s ecosystem services, such as its standing forest. This is an essential component of a new model of global development with sustainability at its core.