Rich Nations Stalling On Climate Finance

cartoonThe world’s poor countries won’t sign on to a Global Climate Treaty in Paris this December if it doesn’t include assurances of cold, hard cash. That’s the message being put forth by Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, a South African climate delegate who speaks for the G77+China, who described climate change as an “existential” threat for the developing world and a “matter of life and death.” Rich countries—the United States chief among them—will push back on this, wary of being indefinitely on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars, but it’s hard to imagine the impending summit producing any sort of agreement that doesn’t involve financial guarantees. —The American Interest, 22 October 2015

More funds to help poor nations cope with climate change will be the make-or-break issue when a Paris summit seeks a U.N. deal in December to slow global warming, the main group of developing nations said on Thursday. Poor nations say they are far more vulnerable than the rich to powerful hurricanes, heat waves, droughts and rising sea levels and want clear promises that aid will rise from an existing goal of $100 billion a year by 2020. “Whether Paris succeeds or not will be dependent on what we have as part of the core agreement on finance,” said Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa’s delegate who speaks for more than 130 developing nations, said at U.N. climate negotiations. –Alister Doyle and Megan Rowling, Reuters, 22 October 2015

Developing nations accused rich ones Thursday of stonewalling on finance in negotiations for a universal climate rescue pact — an issue they said would make or break the entire effort. The G77 bloc of developing nations, representing 80 percent of the world’s population, insists that firm funding commitments from developed nations must make it into the core of the agreement being shaped at talks in Bonn. But negotiators from rich nations, they claimed, were trying to put off the difficult discussion so that multilateral lenders outside of the official UN climate process take over the responsibility for funding. –Mariette le Roux, AFP, 22 October 2015

The developing nations are not stupid. They have ensnared the West in a climate trap that green politicians set for themselves. To meet the growing pressure by the West, developing countries are demanding $200- 400 billion dollars – per annum – for so-called climate compensation and adaptation measures, together with billions worth of technology transfers. It is difficult to see how the West would be prepared to transfer such an astronomical amount of money. Even in good times it would have been a foolish idea. For too long, West leaders have been convinced that they are pursuing a clever strategy. The EU promised, in principle, a financial transfer of $30 billion in the next three years to poor countries. However the president of the European Commission made perfectly clear that the climate billions are conditional on an international agreement with binding emission limits. –Benny Peiser, Weltwoche, 23 November 2009

The Green Climate Fund (GFC) was founded to manage a significant portion of the $100 billion annual fund promised by rich countries to help the developing world adapt to climate change, but so far only has an annual budget of $700 million. —EurActiv, 5 October 2015

This year is probably going to set a record for global annual average surface temperature. Given this it is inevitable that there will be assertions that the much-debated “pause” in surface temperature is over and that global warming has resumed. Far from being over, the warming pause is a hot topic among climate scientists. What the data is showing us is that over the past 15 years or so there has been little underlying change with El Ninos elevating the temperature a little and La Ninas reducing them. Is what is happening to global annual average surface temperatures all that surprising? –David Whitehouse, Global Warming Policy Forum, 22 October 2015